Pilates, namely reformer pilates, is now one of London’s most celebrated forms of exercise. The reformer machine may be intimidating at first but give it a go and the concept becomes simple. It’s designed with a main carriage, springs and pulleys that can be adjusted to suit all levels, and it offers a more dynamic, intense form of the traditional mat-based practice. Targeted exercises are designed to lengthen muscles, tone the physique and stretch every inch of your body. Low impact it may well be, but a walk in the park it certainly is not. We round up the best of London’s studios to put the ease into finding your perfect fit.
Discover the best barre classes in London here.
It’s the Dynamic Reformer Pilates session that takes place at every Frame studio that we’re somewhat addicted to. Why? The simple answer is this: it’s damn good. Instructors take an authoritative but calming approach to leading the class and each adopts a slightly different method so no two sessions are the same. The studio at the Kings Cross branch is particularly wonderful, set back from the sometimes hectic fitting rooms and providing a little haven of calm amongst the hectic city lifestyle. Book into a class with Suru Long or Corrine Naomi to fully appreciate what we’re raving about.
Frame, ArtHouse, 1 York Way, Kings Cross, London, UK, +44 20 3764 1911
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Don’t be fooled by this studio’s understated setting (it’s just off Brick Lane in a more modest space than some of the more established names in our line-up) – this reformer Pilates workout is arguably one of the best we’ve come across in the capital. As the name suggests, you’re here to work, not to stretch, and if you’re looking for a class that results in looser muscles and a calmer mind then this perhaps isn’t the one for you. What you will feel, however, is that you’ve worked hard. Triggering muscles you never knew existed, the passionate instructor guides you through a series of exercises that not only includes the usual equipment but weights as well in order to wake up, tone and lengthen just about every single part of your body.
Bootcamp Pilates, 63 Princelet St, Shoreditch, London, UK, +44 330 010 0210
Equinox is one of London’s most prestigious gyms and that said, it comes as no surprise that its Pilates classes are hard to rival. Instructors undergo a rigorous training program so whether you’re focusing solely on this medium or you’re working it into a more intensive exercise calendar, the Equinox reformer sessions will bring a new dimension to your workouts and result in a stronger, leaner and more toned physique.
Equinox, 5th floor, The Roof Gardens, Kensington High Street, London, UK, +44 20 7666 6000
Positioned in the heart of Fulham with changing rooms to rival some of the city’s most prestigious spas, Heartcore is everything you’d expect from a boutique West London fitness studio. The timetable spans everything from heart-rate monitored HIIT and TRX workouts to barre so it’s no surprise that the reformer sessions err on the higher side of the intensity spectrum. There’s a focus on the core and the idea is that clients get the best full-body workout in the shortest time possible. Each session is 55 minutes and caters to all levels so don’t feel intimidated if you’re a first timer.
Heartcore, 6EA, 27a Queen’s Terrace, London, UK, +44 20 7305 7760
🌿W E E K E N D V I B E S 🌿 Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful couple of days here in London… What are your plans for the weekend (besides a core-loving class at ours of course)? Let’s hear it! . . . #soheartcore #heartcorelife #weekendvibes #weekendworkout #stjohnswood #convertedchurch #interiordesign #pilates #pilatesfit #londonfitness #saturdayworkout #workitout #pilateslife #pilateslovers #weekendwarriors
Ten Health & Fitness
A collective passion for health, wellness, and specifically fitness in London means that classes can often be overpopulated and a little manic, but at Ten Health & Fitness there’s absolutely no risk of hitting someone in the face mid warm-up. As the name might suggest, there is never more than 10 people in each class which allows for instructors to work closely with each and every student to progress their practice. Offering a physiotherapy service, one-to-one personal training and sports massage as well as sessions that cater to varying experience levels, there’s a strong focus on all-round wellness and the chance to see a change in your physique fast if you’re committed. We recommend booking in to a program and working towards the more dynamic, weights and circuits-based sessions for optimum results.
Lower Ground Floor, 6 Duke Street St James’s, St. James’s, London, UK, +44 20 7930 4442
If you thought 10 people in a class was intimate then think again because there’s only four reformer beds in the Core Kensington studio so there’s no hiding to be done here. Focused, personal and ultimately results-driven, there’s something of an elitist feeling about being part of their circle. If you’re after something a little more light-hearted then why not try their bounce reformer session where instructors incorporate a trampette into the workout to ensure you leave with that all-important spring in your step. For obvious reason, you need to book in advance to secure a spot in the class you want so act fast once the timetable gets updated.
Core Kensington, 64 Porchester Rd, London, UK, +44 20 7854 1934
Founder of The Model Method, Hollie Grant is well-known in the industry for making transformative workouts accessible to all. At-home PT sessions make up a large portion of her client base and her online programs allow those based outside of London to partake in her sessions. She believes that exercise has a truly positive effect on mental health and is an advocate of the trending phrase; strong not skinny. Her workouts combine HIIT-inspired cardio bursts with toning exercises to achieve visible results.
Pilates PT, 136 – 144 New Kings Road, New King’s Road, London, UK, +44 20 3026 8342
Core Collective does things a little differently to most, sticking to the traditional Pilates method that takes place on a mat as opposed to using a reformer machine. Arguably just as intense a workout with core strength and alignment at the heart of each class, it fuses ballet-inspired moves with classic toning exercises and calls upon equipment such as the band and the hoop to challenge muscles in a way that pure bodyweight resistance work might not be able to achieve.
Core Collective, 45 Phillimore Walk, Kensington, London, UK, +44 20 7937 6377