Outdoor pilates

As Aïda Palau, a Los Angeles-based group fitness instructor from Barcelona, Spain, demonstrates, you don’t have to spend an hour in the studio to reap the rewards of a solid Pilates session. Palau, who has been teaching classes at Equinox since 2008, devised this Pilates-focused routine to help you develop a stronger, fitter mid-section—no matter where you are.

“The core is the link between your upper and lower body, and that includes the back, side, pelvic, and butt muscles,” says Palau. “It’s the origin of all of your functional movements, and a weak or inflexible core will limit not only the function of your limbs, but the efficiency and power of all of these movements.”

The beauty of this do-anywhere routine is that it will also improve your functional strength and mobility, which makes you move more efficiently and helps prevent injury on a daily basis. “Beyond looking good, a strong core translates to a better quality of life—emotionally, psychologically, and physically,” she says. Plus, research has proven that exercising outside has added mental health benefits when compared to exercising indoors.

Watch Palau move through her routine in the video above, shot at a beautiful Holmby Hills estate, courtesy of our friends at The Agency. Then, take your own routine outside.

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“[Pilates allows] me to push past the ‘I want to quit’ moments.”

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Set a workout intention

Set a workout intention.