Hunt Pilates in Sherman Oaks is home to a British import named Antony Ferguson who loves to make you hurt. A former professional rugby player with a background in classical ballet (yes, really), Ferguson puts his students through their slow, measured, excruciating paces with a refined flair for alignment tips and nonstop commentary that has you laughing as you try to breathe through your stripper gyrations. “Come on, ladies!” he implores. “Bikini season is here, and you know you want those lower abs looking tip-top.” I'd take issue with the reductive vanity aspirations if they weren't so spot-on. “Forgive me,” he always says when touching a leg or an ass cheek to make an adjustment or a point, because, as I already said, he's British, which means he's polite. It also means he has shitty taste in music, which isn't really that big a deal, because if you complain loudly enough, he will change out his Kylie Minogue Pandora station for the Led Zeppelin one with minimal grumbling.

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