Are you still thinking of pilates as an ’80’s workout that’s only for middle-aged Moms? Have you fallen into the trap of thinking that a hard workout needs to involve flipping huge tires or battling massive ropes? If so, then it’s time to reconsider exactly how badass a pilates workout is, no matter what your age or gender.

Photo: Pixabay/ UptownFitness

Pilates, done right and with the right equipment, will have your muscles shaking, and sweat pouring off of you like you’ve just walked out of a sauna. It’s true that it will do this for you even though you don’t look like you are working hard- maybe that’s why pilates suffers from an image problem.

Pilates was invented by a man, and professional athletes like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Tiger Woods are all famous fans of Pilates to help maintain muscle strength and flexibility.

Men or women, if you’re looking for a new strength-training workout, we’re here to tell you pilates can kick your rear end.

You’ll Discover New Muscles

No matter your fitness level, a good pilates class will help you work on your stabilizer muscles and the alignment of your body. Pilates works the muscles from the inside out, meaning that the exercises in Pilates start at the bone, and focus on rotation and movement outward. Do you think you have a strong core because of all the planking you do? Just wait.

Photo: Pixabay/ xxolgaxx

With Pilates, you’ll try to hold that plank (or do your mountain climbers) on a moving carriage, sometimes called a reformer. This will force you to use a whole new set of muscles for balance and stability, and focus on things you’ve never looked at before. And if this sounds hard… you should remember it’s usually just the warm-up to a workout.

You Can Always Level Up

Pilates is notoriously difficult to master, not least because your body is always changing, and new things will pop up every time you get on a machine, or go to a class. When doing Pilates exercises, you’re focusing on control, not huge amounts of reps.

Photo: Pixabay/ UptownFitness

No matter how much time you spend on the mat or a reformer, you can always work on your form and alignment. You’ll never get bored and you’ll never be completely perfect in your workout, which will allow you to do even more for your body, while not losing your focus.

It’s An Efficient Way to Use Your Workout Time and Get Camera-Ready

It’s true that if you’re looking for Dwayne Johnson-level bulk, Pilates is only one part of the workout plan you need. But if you want strong, lean muscle, then this is the workout for you. If you’re wanting more of the David Beckham lean and strong look, do Pilates (like Beckham himself does!)

Photo: Pixabay/ sabinemondestin

It’s an easy way to get an intense workout into your schedule. You don’t have to lift barbells for hours- just fit a class into your day.

You’ll Feel It the Next Day… and Week

You may only do exercises in Pilates that move your body a few inches at a time, but those few inches will make your muscles burn. You’ll be working your muscles hard, and adding new muscle movement to the ones that your body is used to.

Photo: Flickr/ istolethetv

Your body will eventually get over the soreness, but you should be ready to be sore for days, or even weeks, as your body takes in this new challenge that you’re throwing at it.

After the Soreness, It’s Going to Do Wonders to Reduce Pain

Pilates stretches and strengthens your muscles, and one of the great benefits will be to your posture. Your improved posture helps with upper back and neck problems, issues like TMJ, and lower back pain.

Photo: Pexels/ bruce mars

Pilates was originally developed as a rehabilitative tool to help athletes heal their bodies and improve their alignment, leading to great benefits in both performance and pain relief. It still works that way today!

Ready to Try It? Here’s Where You Can Get Your Best Pilates Workout in L.A.

No matter where you live or work, there’s a great Pilates studio near you in your L.A. neighborhood.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

  • Natural Pilates in Beverly Hills: 9869 S. Santa Monica Blvd. #207
  • Archer Pilates in Inglewood: 6504 Arizona Ave
  • Pilates Platinum in the Palisades: 11755 Wilshire Blvd
  • Pilates and Arts in Silverlake: 1844 Echo Park Ave
  • In and Up Pilates in Atwater: 3191 Casitas Ave #168
  • Wundabar Pilates in Los Feliz: 1864 1/2 N. Vermont Avenue
  • Love for Pilates in Hollywood: 1253 Vine St Ste. #23
  • Harmony Studies in West Hollywood:  8440 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • Pilates Training in West Hollywood:  519 N La Cienega Blvd
  • M Pilates in Koreatown: 3548 1/2 W 8th St, Fl 2
  • LiNE Pilates in Wilshire Center: 4011 West 6th St, Ste 102
  • Starting Point Pilates in Arlington Heights: 3600 W Olympic Blvd Ste 6
  • Whole Body Method Mid-City: 5700 W Pico Blvd
  • I Love Pilates in Harvard Heights: 1144 S Western Ave Ste 203
  • Mind and Motion in Hancock Park: 5650 W 3rd St

Men, women, young, old, pregnant or just looking for A-Lister arms, everybody should give this intense, efficient, and tough workout a try!