What: The Systeme Dynamique, a discipline of Pilates developed by Parisian Sebastien Legree that uses a machine he designed exclusively for this strenuous training. Nicole Kidman, Elizabeth Hurley, and Sheryl Crow are all devotees of the program. Kidman has even been spotted in communal classes. (It’s important to note that all of these women are 35-plus and have great, toned bodies.)
Where: Legree teaches at Pilates Plus on Melrose Ave (pilatesplusla.com; 310-358-9491) and his classes fill up very quickly. Even better, instructor Heather Dorak has just opened an airy, upbeat studio in Hollywood (pilatesplushollywood.com; 323-466-0309), which uses Legree’s machines and his methods.
When: Classes run seven days a week, starting at 6:00 a.m. and running up until 7:00 p.m.
Vibe: At both studios, the attitude is low key. Not every woman shows up in matching designer work-out wear and the ages range from starlet (22) all the way up to dame (50-plus). On occasion, a dude shows up too. Know that most people do pilates barefoot. If you have a phobia, however, feel free to wear ankle socks and comfortable clothes that you would wear to do yoga.
Expect: Within five minutes, you will feel the effects because this program focuses on core muscles that aren’t typically used. Within five sessions, you will see a marked difference in your posterior, waist and upper arms. Expect to be sore for the first week.
Cost: Right now, Pilates Plus Hollywood is offering a special at $199 per month for unlimited classes. That’s a steal, considering that other studios charge up to $40 per hour long session.