MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Perhaps summer is the reason you have your midsection on your mind, or maybe you just want to exercise that area more.

Experts say that workouts for the core, which includes your back, are often neglected. While Pilates is not new, many people don’t realize how much it targets your core.

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Terri Jackson wade has been a Pilates student for the past seven years.

“With Pilates, it allows me to elongate my muscles. it allows me to have those core muscles I once had,” said Jackson.

The core, or center, is made up of the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen. Pilates exercises focus on strengthening muscles in these areas.

Terri’s instructor, Yvette Hassell, says strong core muscles can help make everyday activities less difficult.

“One strengthening their core is not just for aesthetic reasons. If your movement is strong and fluid, then it’s done with ease,” she said.

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Hassell instructs beginners to be mindful of their form. But longtime students of Pilates, like Jackson, may prefer a smaller class setting for more one-on-one attention as well as for more focused instruction.

“Technique is the most important thing in exercise in general,” said Hassell. “It’s not about quantity. It’s about quality.”

Hassell suggests those interested in Pilates sign up for a beginners’ class to learn the moves correctly.

Experts say newbies to any exercise should be cautious and listen to their body.

Strengthening the muscles in your back, for instance, is not guaranteed to prevent you from getting any type of back injury along the way, or down the road.

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There are many Pilates studios around the Twin Cities, and some gyms offer Pilates classes, as well. Average of $25 per class in group sessions. Personal sessions run about $75 on average.