Pilates is known for its focus on your core -- your back, abdominal and hip muscles -- and its emphasis on mind-body connection, not unlike yoga. The average private pilates training session tends to cost $50 or more, estimates the American Council on Exercise. If you're new to fitness and not sure if Pilates is right for you, save yourself money by trying a workout DVD from the comfort of your living room.
Grace, Gusto and Glory
The Ellen Barrett Live: Grace + Gusto DVD was ranked one of the top 10 hottest workout DVDs of 2013 by "Fitness" magazine. Intended for beginners, it takes traditional Pilates movements and speeds them up so you're doing 100 or more fat-burning repetitions in a single session. The magazine praised the video's "fun" and "high energy" ambiance, which can be helpful if you find the typical workout yawn-inducing.
Exhale for Better Abs
As its name implies, the Exhale: Core Fusion Pilates Plus DVD is based on the workouts offered by the Exhale Spa. This Pilates video was picked as a top choice by "Woman's Day" magazine and by "Real Simple" magazine. Instead of one long Pilates workout, the DVD breaks it into five 10-minute segments so you can mix and match depending on how much time you have to exercise.
Sweat to Shed
If the reason you want to try Pilates is to lose weight, try the Weight Loss Pilates Workout DVD. "Fitness" magazine ranked it highly in its list of the industry's best workout DVDs, praising how it combines Pilates with cardio intervals for extra calorie-burning. The DVD includes two 20-minute exercise routines, plus videos to help you warm up, cool down and work your abdominal muscles.
Train Like Royalty
"Woman & Home" magazine calls trainer Lynn Robinson the "queen of Pilates," and ranked her Inch Loss Pilates DVD as one of the top 10 fitness DVDs of 2013. The magazine liked that the DVD makes Pilates accessible no matter how new you are to the fitness world. Robinson walks you through the basics of Pilates, then provides two workouts: one for your whole body and another workout that helps to hit so-called "problem areas" such as your thighs.