Is Reiki Right for You? 

August 16, 2023

Born in Japan and translated as “universal life force,” Reiki is a non-invasive energy healing technique that works to reduce stress and anxiety while promoting relaxation in the body through gentle touch, or no touch at all. 

Reiki can be performed as either a primary therapy or in complement to a range of other therapeutic treatments. It is designed to aid in healing through balancing a person’s energies – mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. 

Is Reiki right for you? If you hear your inner voice telling you to pursue Reiki healing or if you have a gut feeling it may be the right path, this is as good a sign as any to give the Eastern healing practice a try. If you’re still not sure, here are some signs that Reiki might be worthwhile for you and your healing journey. 

1. You Suffer the Effects of a Stressful Lifestyle 

Stress is a common affliction in today’s society. The numbers don’t lie: one in five Canadians over the age of 12 report feeling quite a bit or extremely stressed on a daily basis. However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s normal, or healthy. Prolonged stress can have significant negative effects on the mind, body, and soul.  

Whether you’re experiencing muscle tension, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, or any other common symptoms associated with stress, Reiki might just provide the relief you’re looking for. Studies have found that Reiki healing can result in increased feelings of peace, relaxation, security, and wellness. Sounds good, doesn’t it? 

2. You Possess a Desire to Heal 

Just like the power of positive thinking has merit, the inverse is also true – if you’re skeptical and unwilling to open yourself to the possibilities of Reiki, you’ll likely find that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.  

However, if you possess a desire to work on yourself and heal from within, and if you approach Reiki with an open mind and a positive spirit, the outlook is good. If you look to Reiki healing with hope and a willingness to release yourself to the process, Reiki is a promising option to explore in your healing journey. 

3. You Believe in Alternative Medicine 

Let’s face it, alternative healing isn’t for everyone. In order to reap the full benefits offered by Reiki, it’s essential that you recognize the value in alternative practices in healing.  

Conventional medicine is a powerful thing, no doubt. However, you may be a prime candidate for Reiki if you enjoy practices such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and somatic therapy techniques. Engaging in these activities likely means that you recognize the power of the connection between mind, body, soul, and energy, and you value techniques which approach health and healing from such a perspective. If this sounds like you, Reiki is right up your alley. 

4. You’re Willing to Accept the Unexplained 

This isn’t to say that Reiki is entirely dependent upon blind belief – studies have shown Reiki to have measurable effects on patients undergoing a medical healing journey. However, a willingness to believe in powers beyond the scope of science is beneficial to those looking to make the most of their Reiki healing journey. 

If you find that you can sense the energy in a room or that you can pick up on a person’s aura, this is for you. There are things in this world that we can’t quite explain using facts and figures, and Reiki is currently among those phenomena. If that’s not a barrier for you, you’re well-positioned to reap all of the wonderful benefits that Reiki has to offer.  

5. You’re Ready to Change Your Life 

If you’re even considering pursuing Reiki healing, chances are there’s something in your life you’re hoping to change. That’s a good sign – Reiki has the potential to do just that. 

The impacts of Reiki healing can last a lifetime. Those who practice Reiki find that as a result, their energies are aligned for the better in the long-term. That which doesn’t serve you will exit your life, making room for new possibilities and opportunities. You remove the negativity and create space for your best self – and therefore your best life – to flourish. 

If your intuition is pushing you toward Reiki healing, you ought to listen. If you have any questions about the Reiki healing practice or how it might fit into your lifestyle, we’re happy to provide you with the information you need to pursue this next step in your healing journey. Contact us today. 


The foundation of any effective exercise plan lies in routine. Consistency is key when it comes to seeing results, whether you’re looking to grow stronger muscles, increase your endurance, or become more flexible. But how do you maintain your progress when your routine goes out the window? 

It can be tricky to keep up your regular Pilates routine while on vacation. Lack of equipment and lack of space are common issues, not to mention lack of time – you’ve no doubt got some sights to see, after all! However, abandoning an exercise routine entirely can contribute to feeling lethargic, having trouble sleeping, and losing muscle mass.  

Here are the basics to staying fit while traveling and how to successfully take your Pilates routine on the road: 

Be Realistic with Your Time 

Vacations have a way of coming and going in the blink of an eye. Time flies when you’re having fun, after all! If you’re determined to get in some workouts throughout your travels, be intentional and realistic with your time. 

If you’re an itinerary-based traveler, sprinkle in a couple of quick workouts throughout your travel plans. You might want to consider doing an express version of your typical routine, as well. Focus on just the key movements that are conducive to your goals and leave the accessory work for when you get back home. Remember, the main goal here is to maintain routine and avoid losing progress – you can get back to the crazy intense workouts once you’re back in your own city! 

Craft a Bodyweight Routine 

If you typically use Pilates equipment in your routines like the reformer, TRX bands, or the jumpboard, consider building an equipment-free version of your routine before you set off for your adventure.  

You’ve got all sorts of bodyweight Pilates exercises to choose from. From the bicycle to the shoulder bridge to the side bend and everything in between, basic Pilates moves are more than sufficient to get your heart pumping and your muscles working. Pick your favourites to build a full body routine, or use this as an opportunity to try out some new moves! 

Get Involved with Local Classes 

Leaning into your passions is a fantastic way to integrate into local culture while traveling, giving you a unique and intimate perspective on the places you visit. Since Pilates is your thing, look around online for a local Pilates studio that is open to drop-in members or that offers a weekly pass option. 

You’ll meet new people, work up a sweat, and maybe even discover a new move or two. Plus, there’s something so incredible about connecting over a shared passion with people who come from a completely different walk of life! 

No luck finding a local class? Take a look at the ABsolute Pilates virtual class offerings to see if you might be able to join us virtually during your vacation. 

Don’t Sweat It! 

It’s entirely possible that exercise takes a back seat while you’re away. Even if you plan ahead and set aside time for Pilates, traveling is filled with spontaneous and exhausting experiences and it’s completely reasonable to take a rest from your exercise routine while you’re away.  

If this is your experience, don’t sweat it. In the same way that it requires consistency to get healthy and build your ideal body, it also takes consistency to fall out of shape. You likely won’t notice any difference by taking a week or two off, and incorporating rest periods into your routine can actually benefit your progress in the long run.  

At the end of the day, your focus should lie in making the most of your vacation and prioritizing long-term health through your Pilates passion! 

Interested in more Pilates tips and tricks? Contact us at ABsolute Pilates today. 


The jumpboard is an addition to the Pilates reformer which can add new dimension and challenge to your Pilates workouts. Essentially, the jumpboard is a vertical board that you attach to the end of the reformer. Once it is safely installed, you can use your legs or hands to push off from the board. The reformer’s sliding seat moves with you, and then returns to the starting position.  

There are many advantages of using the jumpboard, and lots of fun ways to add it into your Pilates routine. Jumpboard Pilates classes challenge your cardiovascular system more than most and have a pace that is well-suited for intermediate and advanced Pilates practitioners (although beginners can use the jumpboard too). Here is what you need to know about the Pilates jumpboard.  

The Advantages of the Jumpboard

Why add in the jumpboard to your routine, or why attend a jumpboard class? There are advantages of adding this accessory to your reformer. The jumpboard offers: 

  • Cardio: Once you’ve gotten used to various Pilates movements, increasing the intensity and upping the cardio can allows you to continue to challenge yourself. You’ll get the benefits of exercising your heart and improving your VO2 maximum. You’ll also increase your muscular endurance by performing exercises at increase speed. How does the jumpboard add cardio? It requires you to move quickly enough to finish up a stretch or movement in time to “land” on the board.  
  • Plyometric exercises: Plyometric exercises are those that use force and speed in different movements to increase your strength and physical condition. Using the jumpboard can allow you to perform various plyometric exercises. This is essential for athletes who need to build up explosive power, and it can be a great addition for anyone who just wants to add a new challenge to their routine.  
  • Reduced joint stress: While certain plyometric exercises tend to place stress on your joints, the reformer minimizes this. Your full body weight is on the reformer rather than on the jump board when you land, which takes a great deal of the impact off your ankles, knees, and hips.  
  • Variety: Our muscles get used to the exercises that we perform a lot. It’s wise to challenge them with new things and help keep workouts effective. Plus, workouts are more exciting and engaging when you switch things up! 
  • Fun: No one said exercising needs to be boring. Using the jumpboard is just plain fun, and it’s a great tool to use to help you stay motivated to keep doing Pilates.  

How to Use the Jumpboard

In a Pilates jumpboard class you’ll be exposed to a whole series of exercises that take advantage of the board. We’ve selected some of our favourites below so that you can try them out yourself if you have access to the equipment.  

  • Single leg jumping: A basic jumpboard move, all this involves is alternating your legs as you jump so that you land and push off with one foot at a time. Focus on keeping your lower back against the reformer at all times throughout the movement.  
  • Wide jumping: Widen both legs, moving the feet to the edges of the jumpboard. Push off and land with both feet in this widened position. This helps work the muscles of the inner legs.  
  • Side single leg jumping: While lying on your side, use only your upper leg to jump. You can adjust your positioning to bring the leg forward or back during the jump to alter which muscles you’re challenging.  

You can get started using the jumpboard at ABsolute Pilates. Sign up for a class today.  



Total Resistance Exercises (TRX) is a form of suspension training where you use the TRX Suspension Trainer – which looks like a long strap with handles – to complete body weight exercises. TRX was developed by Randy Hetrick, a U.S. Navy Seal, in order to allow him to exercise anywhere. That means that you can do TRX at home, but you can also do it at a gym or in our studio.  

Those who are used to resistance training with weights might be surprised about how challenging TRX exercises can be as compared to simple bodyweight movements. Especially for those who already have a strong core, it is easy to adjust the exercises in order to increase difficulty and challenge the muscles. Beginners to the world of resistance and strength training will also find that TRX is adaptable for any level of experience.  

Our Favourite TRX Exercises  

TRX offers a full-body workout and many unique movements that can be used to target specific areas. Let’s explore some of our favourites. 

Upper Body Exercises

  1. Low Row: Attach the TRX at a high point and lean back as you hold the handles, keeping your body straight and your core tight. Starting with your arms fully extended, perform a row by bending your elbows and pulling your body upwards towards the TRX handles. To increase difficulty, simply change your footing so that your body is closer to being parallel with the floor, increasing the resistance.
  2. TRX push-up: Standard bodyweight push-ups can be challenging on their own, but incorporating TRX can increase the challenge and work the core muscles more heavily. Extend the TRX so that the handles almost reach the floor, and place your feet in the handles before performing a push-up. This requires that the stabilizer muscles and the core become engaged, increasing the difficulty of a standard push-up. This exercise can be made more challenging by shortening the TRX straps so that more of your bodyweight is placed on your chest muscles.

Lower Body Exercises

  1. Squat jumps: You can perform squat jumps while holding the TRX straps for increased stability. Start with the straps at mid-length and don’t forget to engage your glutes and keep your weight in your heels. The tension in the TRX strap gives you a bit of security for the landing portion of the squat—but they are still challenging.

  2. Hamstring curl: Targeting your hamstring is simple with the TRX strap. Adjust the straps so they lie close to the floor and lie on your back with your feet in the handles. Keep your shoulder blades on the floor and your core engaged at all times, and slowly bend your knees to lift your torso off the ground, before slowly straightening your body to complete the movement.

One of the best things to do when you’re new to TRX is to attend a few classes and learn about the many different exercises and their variations, and to ensure that you’re performing the movements with the proper form.   

The Benefits of TRX

Why join a TRX class? There are many benefits to this kind of exercise, including that it is low impact and therefore easy on your joints. It is simple to switch between different exercises in order to demand more from your cardiovascular system. Once you understand how to use the straps you can take them anywhere and exercise while travelling or working far from a gym.   

Sign up for a TRX class at ABsolute Pilates today.  


The reformer is an important tool often used in Pilates that can isolate muscles, add resistance, and allow for a full range of motion. It enhances the benefits of any Pilates routine, but with its platform, wheels, and pulley system, it can seem a bit daunting to beginners. And for those who perform their Pilates at home, purchasing a reformer is an expensive investment. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of using the reformer and alternative solutions if you don’t have access to a reformer yourself. 

Why Isolate Muscles?

When we move to accomplish something in real life, we tend to use a range of muscles to support our motion. While it is important to practice compound movements in our exercises to mimic those real-world patterns, isolation exercises help us to target specific muscles individually. Isolating particular muscles through specific exercises allows us to place an increased focus on weaker muscles in our body, or any muscles that we particularly want to enhance. Training those muscles in isolation eliminates our ability to call upon other, stronger muscle groups to support the movement like we can in compound exercises, making isolation movements a particularly good choice if you’re experiencing any muscle imbalance. 

The reformer can be used to isolate specific muscles and force us to develop strength without help from surrounding muscle groups, which is especially beneficial if they are chronically under-used or are recovering from an injury.  

Why Add Resistance?

Body weight exercises can be very fruitful and help you develop strength, to a point. Once you have trained your muscles to the point where you can move your body weight with relative ease, additional resistance is needed to continue challenging and strengthening your muscles.  

Resistance training isn’t just for athletes who need to push their bodies to their limits, it is necessary for anyone who wants to improve their physical fitness. Bodyweight exercises are also resistance exercises, however, the intensity of that resistance is limited by the weight of your body. Increasing resistance with the help of tools like the reformer allows us to continue to challenge and grow our muscles once we’ve plateaued at the bodyweight level. When done in quick succession, reformer exercises can also boost your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular fitness too.  

Why Focus on a Full Range of Motion?

Pilates movements on the floor do not always allow us to achieve a full range of motion. However, making each and every joint work through its full range of motion is important in order to maintain that range, especially as we age. It can be particularly important for those who are recovering from surgery or any injury which, without physical therapy, could end up limiting their range of motion. The reformer can allow you to move your joints through a full range of motion in ways that are more comfortable for you.  

Alternatives to a Pilates Reformer

If you don’t see yourself investing in a reformer anytime soon, what are the alternatives? You can attend classes at studios which have reformers, or you can simply do mat Pilates without one. There are also several other more affordable equipment options which can enhance your Pilates workouts, including: 

  • Foam rollers 
  • Resistance bands 
  • Hand weights 
  • Weighted balls 
  • Stability balls 
  • Blocks  

There are many ways to modify your core Pilates exercises with these tools. Talented instructors can show you how to make the most of your routine even when you don’t have a reformer. Sign up for a reformer class today with ABsolute Pilates or join in one of our matwork classes!  


Though some might assume that Pilates is a modern fitness craze born from diet culture and social fitness classes, that is certainly not the case. Pilates has been practiced for over a century, originally created and developed by one man during World War One. It has evolved through the years and incorporated modern exercise science into its practice, while staying true to its roots and core principles. 

If you’re a fan of Pilates or simply interested in history, this blog is for you. We’re going to explore the origin of Pilates and how it evolved through the years to become the fun and effective exercise technique that we use around the world today. 

The Invention of Pilates

The form of exercise we know as Pilates is named after its creator, Joseph Pilates. Born in Germany in 1883 to a gymnast father and a naturopath mother, Joseph himself became a competent gymnast, diver, boxer, and skier.  

In 1912 Joseph was living in England and working as a self-defense instructor. As the First World War took over the globe he found himself held with other German nationals at the Knockaloe internment camp on the Isle of Man, where he developed his own exercise method and practiced the techniques with his fellow internees. However, it was not yet called Pilates – in Joseph’s lifetime, he referred to his exercise techniques as “Contrology.” Many of his first students in the internment camp suffered from various injuries and ailments, which allowed Joseph to tailor his Contrology techniques to act as a successful method of recovery and rehabilitation. 

Following his four-year internment, Joseph continued to develop his technique before emigrating to the United States in 1926. He and his wife, Clara, opened a fitness studio in New York in which they continued to develop and teach Pilates to a range of clientele who were looking to hone their abilities or recover from injury. While Joseph was the man behind the method, it’s said that Clara was the primary teacher in the studio. With limited English to work with, they relied heavily on hands-on correction to teach the method. Many dancers attended Joseph and Clara’s studio, as well as a handful of celebrities of the time including famous dancers, authors, and actors. Among the original Pilates athletes, about 60% were men.  

Equipment and Methodology

If you enjoy Pilates as part of your exercise routine, you likely know that there is a range of equipment that may be used to accompany certain exercises. As Joseph Pilates developed and honed his initial Contrology techniques he also created and utilized equipment, which he referred to as apparatus. 

While in internment, Joseph made use of hospital beds rigged with springs in order to provide resistance while exercising. He continued to develop various pieces of equipment to accompany his exercise techniques as his resources grew, and he ultimately created a range of apparatus, many of which are still used in Pilates today. Among his inventions include early versions of the Reformer (originally called the Universal Reformer), the Cadillac, the Wunda Chair, the High “Electric” Chair, the Spine Corrector, the Ladder Barrel, and the Pedi-Pole. 

Joseph believed that physical health and mental health were interrelated, and he referred to the combination of mind, body, and spirit as the “whole-body.” He based his techniques on the pillars of breath, whole-body health, and whole-body commitment. Also integral to Joseph’s methodology were the principles of concentration, control, centering, precision, and flow. 

In 1932 Joseph published a booklet titled “Your Health,” followed by another titled “Return to Life Through Contrology” in 1945. These texts, accompanied by the teachings of his former students and apprentices, allowed Pilates to continue on and gain traction even after his death in 1967.  

Contemporary Pilates

The Pilates we know and love today is often a combination of modern Pilates techniques alongside the traditional methodology of Joseph’s original methods. The equipment has evolved, and the evolution of exercise science has continued to shed light upon the lasting success of Joseph’s original Contrology concepts. However, contemporary Pilates is still grounded in the philosophy and movement patterns developed by Joseph over a century ago. 

Pilates has a unique history behind it, and it’s a tried-and-true approach to exercise that has stood the test of time and only continues to gain traction. If you’re interested in joining in and getting active with some Pilates exercises, contact us at ABsolute Pilates. We offer classes in-studio and online for students of any level of experience looking to work up a sweat and improve their abilities!  


Exercise of all forms, Pilates included, is a great habit to build for a healthy lifestyle. While it’s not necessary to track your progress and simply being active and staying fit is fantastic on its own, intentionally tracking progress can provide benefits to some. 

Progress is achieved through consistent efforts, so it’s not always obvious when you’ve made progress. Intentionally tracking your progress can act as a great motivation then, as you’re able to compare your starting point with what you’ve achieved, and envision the new heights you’d like to reach in the future. Keeping track of progress is also a good idea if you have specific goals you’re trying to reach, as it can give you insights into your performance and whether you need to tweak your exercise routine to help you achieve those goals. 

So, how do you go about tracking your Pilates progress? 

Define Your Goals

First of all, it’s crucial that you define your goals and determine exactly what it is that you’re hoping to track. Pilates provides an array of benefits, and while you can approach Pilates with the intention of improving your overall health, you will likely see more significant progress if you focus on one or two areas of improvement to track. Some of these areas include: 

  • General physique 
  • Strength 
  • Flexibility 
  • Muscular endurance 

Consider what’s important to you and pick one or two areas to focus on improving. Use those areas to measure and track your progress as you regularly practice your Pilates routine. 

Tracking Physique Progress

If physique is one of your main motivators, you’ll want to begin by taking initial photos and measurements to determine your starting point. This can be scary for many people, as body dysmorphia is common and it can often be a source of discomfort to focus on the parts of your body that are not your favourite. Just remember that you’re beautiful and strong in every version of yourself, and appreciating the body you have now will only help you to recognize the progress you make in the future. 

There are a few tricks to taking quality before-and-after photos, like wearing the same clothes in each and standing before a plain backdrop. This resource tells you everything you need to know about snapping the right photos that will showcase your Pilates progress more than ever.  

When it comes to taking measurements, this video shows the right method for accurate and consistent measurements.  

When tracking physique, the scale is not a very accurate metric. Fat and muscle have different densities and losing fat does not always translate to losing weight if you’re gaining muscle at the same time. Ditch the scale and go for photographs or measurements for a more accurate indication of your physical progress. 

Tracking Strength

Tracking strength is fairly straightforward – how much weight is your body able to move, with correct form? Choose a handful of key weighted exercises, and mark exactly how much weight you can successfully lift for each. Return to those same exercises and write down your performance so that you can look back on where you started versus what you’ve achieved, and use that information to set goals for the future. 

Tracking Flexibility  

Tracking your flexibility is similar, and requires that you take initial measurements in certain positions and compare that data to measurements gained through the exact same positions at a later date. Just as with progress tracking in general, you can choose to focus on certain body parts, or tackle your overall flexibility as a whole. 

This article outlines specific positions to use to test the flexibility of various body parts. As you continue through your Pilates journey, return to those same positions and take measurements. While it can be hard to feel the progress on a daily basis, those numbers will undoubtedly show that you’ve been improving! 

Tracking Muscular Endurance

As with strength progression, tracking your muscular endurance requires you to pick a handful of exercises to compare over time. Muscular endurance tests are best done with bodyweight, static positions like a plank or a wall sit. Perform the exercise until failure, and make note of how long your muscles lasted before giving out. Routinely perform those same exercises until failure and you’ll see that your times are increasing, and your Pilates training is paying off. 

Maintain a Positive Attitude 

Tracking progress can be a great way to appreciate our efforts and recognize our achievements, but it can also be easy to get down on ourselves if the progress isn’t coming quickly enough for our liking. It’s important to remember that progress takes time, and we need to be patient with ourselves and our bodies. 

Pilates yields so many benefits outside of these areas, as well. It helps us to release endorphins, improves our quality of sleep, and allows us to meet friends, to name a few. Those are things worth celebrating, too! 

If you’re interested in signing up for an in-studio or virtual Pilates class, contact us at ABsolute Pilates. We can help you to reach your exercise goals, and have fun along the way! 


Everybody experiences the occasional slump. Whether you’re a professional athlete, a longtime fitness enthusiast, or someone who is simply trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, everybody goes through periods where exercise is the last thing they want to do. 

Maybe your life is extra hectic at the moment, or you’re feeling more tired than usual. Whatever the reason, rediscovering your motivation for exercise is the key to getting back to it.  With these few tips, you’ll have your heart pumping again in no time! 

Focus on Why

When you’re not feeling motivated to exercise, it can be helpful to remember why you started in the first place. You might’ve started exercising because you wanted a stronger body, improved mental health, better sleep, or any other number of reasons. What’s your why? 

If it motivated you to exercise in the first place, it likely can motivate you out of your slump. Even if your life has changed and your initial why is no longer relevant, think about how exercise can benefit your body and your lifestyle. Focus on the results you’re chasing, and you might start to feel excited about exercise again! 

Change Your Perspective

Exercise can sometimes feel like a chore, and chores are no fun. If that’s how you’ve been feeling, it may be time for a change of perspective! 

Rather than thinking of your exercise regime as something you have to do, try thinking of it as something you get to do. If you can frame exercise as something that you’re lucky to have in your life and as an opportunity to celebrate all of the incredible things your body is capable of, you might find that you feel more motivated to get your body moving.  

Make It Fun!

If you have been lacking in motivation lately, the issue may be that your workouts simply aren’t fun enough. Take a minute to think about what you enjoy, and how to incorporate those elements into your workouts. 

If you usually run on a treadmill, consider hitting a trail for your next run to experience the fresh air and beautiful scenery. Try blasting some of your favourite tunes the next time you go to exercise, or even joining an exercise dance class. You might find that joining an adult recreation league does the trick, so that your focus is on winning a game with your teammates, and exercise is an added bonus (rather than the main focus).  

Join a Group

Lots of people find that they’re far more motivated to do something when they do it with friends. Joining an exercise group is a great way to keep up healthy habits, form new friendships, develop new skills, and add a level of accountability to your workout schedule. 

Whether it’s a walking group, a sports team, or a group workout class, joining a group of likeminded people is a fantastic way to stay motivated to exercise and have fun while doing it.  

If you’ve always wanted to give Pilates a try, or you’re looking for a place to meet some friends and work up a sweat, look no further than ABsolute Pilates. We offer a variety of classes in-studio, online, and in a hybrid format. Take a look at our current class offerings, and contact us if you’d like to find out more!  

Although Pilates was originally designed by a man, Joseph Pilates, for war veterans (who were, at the time, all men), it has since transformed to be geared primarily toward women’s health. So, we understand why men might be skeptical about taking up this exercise method. But Pilates is an excellent option for men in many different stages of life, and with varying fitness goals. Whether you’re looking to reduce back pain from an injury, improve your sports performance, or you’re a novice just looking to increase your overall physical fitness, Pilates is an excellent choice. We’ll walk you through 3 key Pilates moves specific to men’s health, their benefits, and how to perform the movements. They could be just what your routine is lacking! 

1. Hip Rolls

An excellent exercise for essentially any man, the hip roll is important for improving spinal mobility. It will also strengthen your glutes and open hip flexors, two key improvements that can help to relieve back pain.  

To perform: 

  1. Lay on your back with your arms at your sides.  
  2. Put your feet flat on the ground, knees bent.  
  3. Press your arms into the floor, flat on either side of your body.  
  4. Engage your abdominal muscles as you raise your pelvis and tailbone off the mat, and slowly add each vertebra of your lower spine.  
  5. Squeeze your glutes and hold your body straight from knees to shoulder.  
  6. Reverse slowly, bringing each section of the spine down, starting from the top this time.  

2. Shoulder Bridge

This exercise is a great option to challenge men with strong core stability to challenge themselves and improve even further. By maintaining the position with only one leg, you’ll feel much more stress on your core muscles.  

To perform:  

  1. Lay on your back, knees bent, just as when starting the pelvic curl.  
  2. Activate your abdominals and extend to the top of the pelvic curl, so you form a straight line from knee to shoulder.  
  3. Lift one leg off the ground, keeping the knee bent. Only go as high as is comfortable.  
  4. Lower and raise one leg from 5 to 10 times. 
  5. Repeat with your other leg. 
  6. End the exercise as you end pelvic curl, by slowly lowering to the mat.  

3. Obliques

Those who work office jobs or who spend the majority of their day in one spot can use this exercise to help reduce certain kinds of pain they may be feeling from sitting all day. Also called bicycle crunches, the obliques exercise activates – you guessed it – the obliques, along with the hip extensors. The latter are particularly neglected when a lot of time is spent sitting at a desk.  

To perform: 

  1. Lay on your back with your legs in the air, knees bent, and abdominal muscles engaged. This position is called tabletop.
  2. With your hands behind your head, lift your head, neck, and shoulders.  
  3. Move one elbow towards the opposite-side knee. 
  4. Bend that knee towards the elbow, while extending the other leg out straight, foot pointing towards the wall.  
  5. Switch sides, bringing your other elbow to the other knee and extending the other leg.  
  6. Repeat 8 to 10 times.  

 Ready to learn more about how Pilates can improve men’s health? Talk to us at Absolute Pilates or sign up for a class today.  



Have you stumbled across the concept of Reiki, or perhaps had it suggested to you by friends or family members? This increasingly popular healing technique is usually grouped into the same category as New Age healing techniques, but is becoming mainstream. For some, it is a healing method that can help move energies through the body. Here is everything you need to know about Reiki.  

How Does Reiki Work?

Reiki comes from the Japanese words for “universal” and “life force of all living things.” It is an eastern medicine technique that is supposed to work by moving blocks in your energy fields. Those who practice Reiki believe that everyone has energy fields within and around the body such as aura and chakras. Reiki healers move energy in the person they are healing, improving flow and often removing blocks in their energy.  

Reiki is simple and non-invasive. Practitioners use no touch, or gentle touch, hold their hands near your body, or even heal from a distance without hand gestures at all. Reiki healers will focus on their healing intention while they do so. You will remain dressed during treatments and there is no use of invasive techniques.  

How Much of Reiki is Evidence-Based?

Research has found that Reiki can have a positive effect on those who are treated. The strongest evidence is for its ability to reduce anxiety. There is also evidence Reiki can reduce pain and fatigue. Some people report feeling more relaxed after Reiki, suggesting their anxiety has reduced, while others report being energized which may explain a reduction in fatigue.  

Research conducted in 2015 found that those who were being treated for cancer by conventional means reported that Reiki helped them tolerate the treatments, with lower levels of pain, anxiety and fatigue. Another study found that Reiki helped women feel more relaxed and less pain in the days following a cesarean delivery.  

Reiki has also been studied for its ability to help with more chronic sources of pain, including herniated disks. A 2018 study found that Reiki was effective in relieving some pain in those with lower back pain caused by herniated disks, and that Reiki was more cost-effective than other pain relief methods.  

While Reiki is a great supportive treatment, it is important to note that it is not a replacement for conventional medical treatment of the underlying medical condition. No one recommends that you forgo other treatment to pursue Reiki instead. In fact, one of the significant benefits of Reiki is that you can use it alongside any other treatment.  

What About Side Effects?

There is very little risk of negative outcomes from Reiki. That’s because this is a noninvasive practice generally meant to be supportive, and improve a patient’s experience and level of comfort as they undergo other means of treatment.  

ABsolute Pilates has recently added a Reiki master to the clinic, who is able to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the Reiki healing process. If you’re curious about learning more about Reiki, you can contact us at Absolute Pilates today.  

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