Pilates is an intense, controlled way of working your core musclesthe back and abdominal muscles that stabilize your bodyusing technique, breathing, and concentration. Veteran instructor Kathy Smith leads an effective 30-minute Pilates workout. The 8-minute warm-up teaches the essentials of Pilates, followed by a 22-minute Pilates routine that targets the abdominals. Smith is an excellent instructor with a knack for explaining technique clearly. "Imagine a balloon pulling you up toward the opposite wall, she says as she teaches the difficult Teaser. She demonstrates the basic, sometimes modified, moves with another exerciser showing more advanced positions. Smith continues to emphasize technique, breathing, and proper position through each exercise, making sure you understand how to get the most out of each movement. This is an excellent introduction to Pilates, especiallybut not exclusivelyfor beginners to this discipline.