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Absolute Blogging
Absolute Blogging is a place you can find all sorts of useful information that will keep you informed on tips and advice in keeping your body mind and soul in the best shape possible. In addition our in house DJ LMBB (Little Miss Beat Box) bringing you Ab

Pilates Clothes - What Do I Need?

Back in the day, gym clothes used to be ill fitting garments we all dreaded to put on - some of the sports fashion in recent history has been straight up appalling. However, today's fitness market is abundant in choices when it comes to clothing. So much so that it can get a little confusing - what exactly do you need during a Pilates class? Stepping into the sports department of a store can be stressful unless you know what you're looking for, so let's break it down: What should you look for when buying workout gear for Pilates?

1. Fit. This might seem obvious - of course it should fit well. But let's dig a little deeper - what does fit actually mean? When doing Pilates reformer classes, it's good to wear clothes that are soft and supportive at once. If you wear trousers or tops that are designed to look very lose or oversized, you run the risk of the fabric getting caught in the reformer machine. Also, it's important for the teacher to be able to see your body movement, so anything to large and floppy might make this hard. Comfortable leggings are always a good bet! If you're unsure about your size, get someone at the store to help you - the right size can make a big difference! Sometimes, we like to buy clothes a size smaller in the hopes that we will fit into them soon, but what about...

2. Comfort. In order to get the most out of your practice, choose clothes that make you feel comfortable, confident and strong. Do you want to wear leggings so tight they are see through? Not really, unless you're Sofia Vergara. Is blue your favorite color? Go for it! Do you love working out in shorts? Do it! This is your time to work on your mind and body, so make sure your garments will make you feel your best!But it's not only about what everyone else see's you in, but also about the...

3. Undergarments. Excuse the intimate tone here, but it really is very important to wear underwear that will make your practice easy and comfortable. Stay away from underwear that doesnt stay in place. Wear natural fibers. And of course - it's all about the sports bra! During a class of pilates, you spend a lot of time on your back. Therefore, many people find it uncomfortable to wear sports bras with clasps in the back, since they can 'dig in' to your skin whilst exercising. We recommend a seamless bra with medium support, unless you're doing a cardio pilates class, in which case you'll need high support. During cardio classes, the time is split evenly between floor work and work on the reformer, so the issue with the clasps in the back might be less irritating. Alright, then, so that's the undergarments. How about some....

4. Socks. Whether you use socks or not during class is completely up to you. Some people prefer having special Pilates socks with a bit of rubber underneath for better grip on the reformer and floor. This can certainly help, but it's not a necessity during class. Last but not least...

5. Style. There are SO many amazing labels who make beautiful clothes aimed at fitness. They're so nice, you can actually wear them everyday! Brands like Sweaty Betty, Manuka, Lululemon and Every Second Counts (The latter is pictured above) make clothes that will make you feel like a million bucks. In fact, we love Lululemon and Every Second Counts, you can find it here at the studio!

If you feel inspired, why not come and ask us at reception for more info on what clothes we sell here at Absolute? We have a feeling you might want to change that Christmas wishlist... ;)


Kiwi's at Absolute

What is it about New Zealand and crazy good Pilates instructors? If you've been coming to class recently, you'll have noticed we have a couple of new faces here at the studio, and many of them are from that place on the other side of the world. Kate and Nick are two of our new instructors, and after hanging out with them for a while, I had the feeling that the perception of fitness is quite different over there. I was interested to ask them what they thought about the approach to fitness back home vs. here in the UK.

"Oh, it's totally different! Back home, everyone is so into health and fitness and that industry is just huge there. It's a lifestyle! Because summer is such a big part of life it feels very natural for everyone to be physically active. Everyone will just go to the gm, head to the beach or go play a game of sports together, after work." Kate tells me.

"It's just about making fitness a part of your life, a part of your daily routine. Health and fitness is so important to me, and it's fun to see how people over here are becoming more aware of it too. Like, more conscious about good choices in regards to health and fitness." Nick explains.  "It's just so important for feeling food!"

"Yes" Kate elaborates. "This whole raw food and organic eating is almost like a 'trend' thing overe here, like, 'it's cool to be vegan'. But back home, everyone really is into healthy eating and it's not a very big deal - it's just how it is!"

I've noticed that Kate frequently has a snack with her to work, and it's often of the chocolatey kind.

"I'm a firm believer in salads. Salads and chocolate!" She laughs. "I just love chocolate! But I always make these treats myself, using only organic super foods such as raw cacao, coconut oil and chia seeds, so they're actually healthy." Well, I don't know about you, but we're all about the guilt free snacking - bring it on!

Nick and Kate will both be teaching lot's of classes here this fall and winter, so be sure to check the schedule to come in and try one if you haven't already/. Their classes are so much fun and always varied, getting you that varied Pilates workout we all love so much. Your heart rate will be pumping to the sing-songy sound of their Kiwi accents, guiding you through an awesome class of Absolute Pilates. See you soon!


New Mini Urban Retreat with Corrie

Tone Up & Gain Energy
​Sunday 21st September
3.30pm - 8.00pm

Take a few hours out of the week to escape your daily demands and immerse yourself in a Mini Urban Retreat to completely reset your health and fitness without the need to spend hundreds of pounds and travel hundreds of miles.  This is your one stop well-being shop!

During this extended workshop we will be learning how to exercise efficiently to ensure you maximise your energy reserves rather than draining them, with trainer Corrie McCallum combining Pilates, Yoga, Breathing and Weight Lifting.

Joining us on this workshop is Julie Deeks, a top Nutritional Therapist who specialises in functional nutrition medicine.  She looks at all symptoms and signs including physical, emotional, psychological and environmental to ensure care in holistic and integrative.

Julie will be giving an exciting talk on how we can use our nutrition to manage a healthy weight and support muscle tone, whilst boosting and sustaining energy levels.

To keep us fuelled, a healthy snack will be provided and the day will conclude with a delicious salad and nutritious sweet treat, all made by London's latest urban bakery and street food gurus, Breadren.

​​3.30pm - 4.30pm -  Dynamic Reformer Pilates Class

4.45pm - 5.45pm - Nutrition Talk and Q&A with Healthy Snack

6pm - 7pm - Vinyasa Yoga Class

7pm - 7.30pm - Breathing, Relaxation and Meditation

7.30pm - 8pm - Healthy Food!

Suitable for all levels.

Cost: £95 (only 9 spaces available)



New Workshop - Complete Core Strength with Corrie

Complete Core Strength
​Saturday 6th September
2.30pm - 4.30pm

Training your core muscles means so much more than just getting rock hard abs, it's about creating endurance and stability throughout the whole body, enabling freedom of movement and the ability to make it through your day without pain, particularly back pain. 

Performing endless crunches will only ever make you good at crunches, so instead we will look at how to attack the core from all angles, giving you a functional workout and the knowledge to apply improved technique to your future health and fitness activities. 

The workshop will be dynamic and a great workout with plenty of opportunites to stop and ask questions, create modifications to suit your personal needs and go deeper into your Pilates practice. 

In the beautiful studio at Absolute Pilates Plus, we will use the innovative Reformer Pilates equipment in combination with body weight exercises, Pilates mat work and some Yoga inspired breathing techniques to work deep into the core muscles.

There will be a chance to analyse your posture and learn how exercises can be modified to suit your personal posture and how to work around any injuries or limitations you have, to enable you to maximise your exercise efficiency in the future.

A sheet of Pilates Mat exercises to be performed at home following the workshop will also be handed out and we will  work through these together.

The workshop will be lead by Corrie McCallum, who is the founder of Stretch Breathe Smile and works throughout London as a Pilates and Yoga Teacher and Personal Trainer.

There are only 9 spaces on this workshop, giving you a truly personal experience and a chance to make some real progress with your health and fitness.

Suitable for all levels.


£60 (only 9 spaces available)



How life has become a pain in the neck?



Non specific neck pain is an increasingly common problem and can range from an occasional niggle to constant and quite debilitating.

A key contributing factor to this increase is all around- next time you're in a coffee shop or especially on the tube you will see the majority of people looking down at a tablet, laptop or smart phone-
over time this flexed neck position teamed with the ronded shoulder posture commonly adopted to hold a tablet or type on a laptop start to cause compensations through your neck shoulders and upper back resulting in some muscles tightening and others weakening.

The common sense response to a stiff neck is to stretch it, this may give instant relief but is often short term. Often the muscles responsible are in your chest.

Your pec minor when tight pulls your shoulder forward and down and prevents your shoulder blade moving correctly.
This can increase the activity of your neck muscles, cause weakness in your upper back muscles and even cause pain to run down your arm.

So to feel better stretch your chest and ditch the Angry Birds.


Best stretches:

- Corner stretch- in a corner- place elbows against the wall with your arms bent at 90 degree angles. Lean forward into the stretch opening through your chest.

- Roller angels- lie on your back on a long soft roller,  start hands by hips palms facing up, sweeps arms along the floor overhead and back to start. 

By Danny Burke


By Danny Burke

By Danny Burke
By Danny Burke
By Danny Burke


Pilates - Sport's Worst Kept Secret?




For years Pilates has been in the press as the exercise of choice for various models and actresses. However more recently you may have seen more and more sports people and teams revealing the importance Pilates plays in their training regime.

Athlete's incorporate Pilates into their training for many reasons- Durability- reducing injuries/ recovering quicker. By addressing postural issues through Pilates, athletes can avoid many common injuries. A common postural issue is an anterior pelvic tilt, this is often caused by tight hip flexors. This in turn shorterns the lower back muscles and brings the hamstrings into a stretched positon, leaving both vunerable to injuries. Releasing the hip flexors will help bring the hips in to a more neutral position, reducing strain through the back and hamstrings.

Weak or inhibited glutes (Bum Muscles) are often to blame for (and the key to 'rehabing') many back, knee and ankle problems.Dynamic pilates not only strengthens glutes directly, but progresses into more ‘functional’ exercises. This helps train the muscles to work correctly throughout common movement patterns in many sports, for example lunges squats and lateral movements.

Increasing body control/ proprioception using the reformer challenges the body in different ways, whether that’s using the moving carriage or the spring loaded loops. Either way control is paramount.

The machines give more feedback to the athlete than the weights, machines or mat workouts. This feedback helps build awareness of where the limbs are in relation to the rest of the body, which muscles are working and how to activate the ‘correct’ muscles.

The motor patterns are fine tuned over time and are directly transferable to the gym, pitch, court course or track! increasing power output The body cannot generate powerful movements from a position of instability. The increased core and limb stability associated with Pilates helps athletes channel and maximise their power.The extra stability through the hips and core can allow athletes to generate power from more unorthodox positions.

A lot of exercises in Pilates are unilateral (one sided), generating strength and control in unstable positons even through an athletes ‘weak’ side. It could be said that the above issues are more prevalent in recreational sports people. This can be due to an ever increasingly sedentary work life. Training and playing for a couple of hours each day teamed with 12 hours sat on the phone/ at a computer/ on a train/plane is the perfect recipe for tight and/or weak muscles, poor posture and muscular imbalances.

This makes it even more important to include Pilates based training into their regime to avoid injury and to aid optimal performance.

By Danny Burke 


HIIT & The After Burn Effect



Absolute Spin and Absolute Pilates Cardio classes both follow the belief of HIIT. Understand why they work better than your regular cardio sessions. Yes we are going to get a bit technical!


HIIT is a high intensity interval workout performed at such an intense level that your body will spend the rest of the day expending energy to recover from the training.   This recovery period or ‘after burn’ is called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and it means that you consume a great deal more oxygen recovering from the exercise bout than you would have if you'd just done a steady-state workout.  This is because the body needs additional fuel to return to its resting state.  Requiring more fuel means additional calorie burn.


Take a look at the diagram below to see the difference between a steady state cardio workout (60 minute run on treadmill at steady pace) and a high intensity workout (Spin class and/or Cardio Class).

After Burn Effect


The white section of the graph displays your metabolism after going for a 1 hour jog at a steady pace. As you can see your metabolism drops back to its regular level after about 3 hours. 


The yellow section of the graph displays your metabolism after doing a HIIT session (i.e. spin class or cardio pilates class). As you can see your metabolism is raised for a much longer period. It's only after approx 36 hours that it drops to its regular state!



  • EPOC raises the body’s calorie consumption post-workout in order to return itself to the pre-exercise state. This increased level of metabolism last for up to 36 hours. (See above)  
  • Muscle fibres rebuild and this increased muscle mass leads to an increase in calorific burn each day. So not only do you tone up you will also be burning more calories just sleeping!
  • You are kick starting the enzyme “hormone-sensitive lipase” (HSL) which orders the cells to release the fat content that is stored within them.  
  • HIT also stimulates production of testosterone and your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 % during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. 
  • Anabolism (muscle building) is also improved with high intensity training. When muscle tissue is pushed to the point of failure or exhaustion it then rebuilds and recovers to its maximum potential in order to meet that type of intense stress again.  


Badass Banana Bars - Hollie's Recipe

 Dairy free,low fat, high energy bars!



Eat these amazing bars whenever you need a sustained boost of energy. They are dairy free, can be made gluten free (use Doves Farm G.F porridge oats) taste amazing and are full of super ingredients!

Porridge and Coconut oil can lower cholesterol and are thought to be mood enhancers. Oats spur the body to burn fat as energy rather than Glycogen (saving it for later) so you can train longer and they fill you up meaning less snacking. You can change the fruit used in the recipe, add protein powder, tweak the measurements, its pretty flexible.

Oven 180C, Makes 8 Bars, 10 mins prep, 25 mins cooking time.



  • 4 Bananas (ripe/black) mashed
  • 11 dried apricots, chopped
  • 10 prunes, chopped
  • 60g sultanas
  • 10g cranberries
  • 1 dessertspoon Coconut Oil (melted with the honey)
  • 1.5 dessertspoon Honey (melted with the oil)
  • 160g Oats


1. Mix everything together in a large bowl.

2. Spoon into a greased brownie tin (any tray with high sides, it doesn’t need to fill the pan completely, just push into a square shape, it won’t spread when in the oven)

3. Bake for around 20-25 mins until slightly darker on top.

4. Cut into bars whilst still warm and leave to cool down.

5. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge. Last roughly a week (if they’re lucky)


Are you set up right for your height??


Did you know that the footbar can be adjusted backwards and forwards for your height? Make sure you are on the right setting in order to get the best workout for your size!


On both sides of your reformer, below footbar you will find a black ball and several holes for the different height settings.


If you are little like me, you will want your setting to be as close as possible to the carriage and if you are a giant like Nick you will want to choose the setting closest to the platform. For everyone in between there are 5 holes to choose from so you get it right for your size!

Simply pull bot the black balls at the same time, and slide the footbar towards the carriage or the platform and release it into the appropriate hole. Remember which setting your on and make sure your set up correctly each time you train."

 When lying on your back with your feet on the bar, your knees should be at a 90 - degree angle. Don’t  be afraid to ask one of our awesone trainers to show you how to adjust the footbar. "



Aren’t we all forgetting about……water!?

In our search for the best sports drinks, our love affair with coconut water (thanks Rihanna) and the influx of information on nutrition, are we forgetting about the cheap, freely available and oldest drink in the book…Water!?water


The body is composed of around 60% water. Almost every process in the body requires/uses up water. This must be replaced! By the time we feel thirsty our body is already dehydrated and the consequences of this are far reaching. On average we lose 6 pints of water a day through sweating, breathing, urination and bowel movements.


The multi-tasker that is water:

  • Speeds up metabolism - Studies have found that drinking water literally burns calories as the body works to warm up the water for use.
  • Regulates body temperature - Particularly important when exercising to reduce overheating.
  • Prevents fatigue – just a 5% drop in body fluids = 25-30% loss of energy. 15% loss = death.
  • Reduces headaches/migraines -the Brain is made up of a huge 90% water! Dehydration causes a drop in blood volume to the brain. Headaches when hungover are due simply to dehydration!
  • Lubricates the lungs during breathing - we lose 1-2 pints of water a day simply breathing.
  • Protects and lubricates our joints - Particularly important in the load bearing spine!
  • Helps flush out toxins and the by-products of fat breakdown - important in protecting the kidneys and liver.
  • Prevents constipation - dehydration causes the body to remove water from the colon leading to hard stools. Embarrassing for all involved.


Symptoms of dehydration:

  • Thirst is the body’s last signal to tell you it needs more water, by this point you are already dehydrated. Don’t leave it this late!
  • Dark urine, which smells. Urine should be almost clear with little to no odour. 
  • Hunger – often when we think we’re hungry we are actually simply thirsty. Try to drink a glass of water before food to help take the edge off and avoid over eating.
  • Fatigue – the body needs water to break down energy stores in the body for use.
  • Dry skin - the skin is approx. 70% water. It will look dull if dehydrated.


Benefits of upping your water intake:

A reduction in all side-effects stated above but my favourite one …..

*Studies suggest it can reduce the risk of bladder and colon cancer due to its toxin removing properties.

Men should aim for around 3 litres per day, ladies 2.5. If exercising aim for a little more.

What more could you want!?


Drink more, live longer. (water that is)



Written by:  Hollie Grant  - Pilates Instructor