Hip Abduction, Pancakes and more.. Members' Bulletin #6

pancake sprinkled with sugar and with a slice of lemon, on a plate

This week’s Members' Bulletin News:

  • We have had 13 members sign up to our online exercise livestreams this week. Our instructors Tony and Drew are busy doing assessments and start-ups for our new ‘online exercisers’. We hear that people are feeling very positive about restarting exercise after so many months. Welcome to all! 

  • As Pancake day is next Tuesday (16th) we thought it would be timely to share a pancake recipe and some ideas from our staff team for what fillings to put into your pancakes. Drew, Sonia, Victoria and Tony share their favourite sweet pancake fillings. 

  • In Member Spotlight William tells us about his experience of being supported to exercise online, after being an active member of our gym when in-person activities were the norm. He says “As a consequence of the classes I feel stronger and fitter and everyday jobs are much easier.” If you have any stories to share, please let us know! 

  • This week all AB staff have now had their first vaccines - to us this feels like a very positive milestone to note. Growing numbers of our gym members are now vaccinated and in Tower Hamlets the Council are advertising their Covid-19 hotline to reach all residents who are eligible for the vaccine to be supported to book their vaccine. There’s lots of information about the vaccine too, so worth checking out. 

  • As today is Chinese New Year - wishing you a happy Chinese New Year marking the beginning of the Year of the Ox. 

Try This at Home: Hip Abduction exercise

For this week's exercise we are going to look at hip abduction. The abductor muscles on the outside of our hips contribute to our ability to stand, walk, and rotate our legs. This exercise which can be done either seated or standing, will strengthen the abductor muscles and also help prevent and treat pain in the hips and knees.

Try this exercise seated or standing and follow these pointers from Tony. If you have any questions about any of our exercises please get in touch:

 Hip Abduction [standing]

  • Stand tall, holding a sturdy object like a chair for support

  • Slowly raise one leg out to the side, resisting the temptation to lean to one side. Pause and then return to the starting position

  • Repeat 10-15 times then change legs

Hip Abduction [seated]

  • Sitting as straight as possible with both feet on the floor 

  • Place your legs hip width apart

  • Wrap a resistance band around your legs, just above the knees

  • Slowly move your knees out to the side against the resistance of the band. Pause and then return to the starting position

  • Repeat 10-15 times

Adaptations: Depending on the current levels of strength and movement in your legs, you can begin doing this exercise without a resistance band or just moving one leg at a time.


Member Spotlight: William

Ability Bow Gym member William Taylor describes his experience of exercising online with our instructor Tony.

I was referred to Ability Bow by my GP, who I went to with a bad back, COPD and blood pressure problems. I cannot begin to explain how much good Ability Bow has done for my physical condition. I no longer have back problems, I have lost weight and my BP is now normal. I was nervous about going to the gym, imagining a lot of lycra-clad people but I needn't have worried. The people working in the gym were kind, professional and completely attentive to my medical conditions. They gave me an exercise routine tailored to my needs and supported me patiently throughout. Most importantly I was soon enjoying the whole experience.

At the beginning of lockdown, I was invited to do Zoom exercises on a one-to-one with Tony Snook. I was sent some resistance bands and, after a little help getting used to zoom, started my weekly exercise routine. It has been very different to going to the gym, but almost more useful. Although I miss the social scene. I find the one-to-one work very rewarding. Tony is sensitive to my individual needs, adapts the routine to how I am feeling and is very encouraging. At the end of every exercise he checks how I am. He's also very good at ensuring that I warm up, stretch and cool off properly, all of which I can be lazy about if left to my own devices! 

As a consequence of the classes I feel stronger and fitter and everyday jobs are much easier.

I hope this is useful and many thanks to all of you for your work in improving my and other peoples health. Yours, Will Taylor.


Ability Bow Community Recipes: Pancakes

We think the best recipe for simple pancakes is on the BBC Good Food website. You can make different kinds of course, as other varieties are available. We reproduce the BBC recipe here - and promise that it is tried and tested by us (several times over in fact). Victoria’s favourite filling is sugar and lemon but there are lots of different fillings for pancakes as you can see from a quick survey we conducted in the team.. Which are YOUR favourites?

Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries - Tony

A little orange blossom honey lemon or bananas & nutella - Drew

In Austria we do either sweet quark or warm apricot jam with rum - Sonia

Inspired? Here’s the recipe:

This basic pancake recipe makes 6 traditional pancakes, which you can enjoy  with your choice of sweet or savoury fillings. 


100g plain flour

2 large eggs

300ml milk

1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying

lemon wedges to serve (optional)

caster sugar to serve (optional)


Put 100g plain flour, 2 large eggs, 300ml milk, 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter.

Set aside for 30 mins to rest if you have time, or start cooking straight away.

Set a medium frying pan or crêpe pan over a medium heat and carefully wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper.

When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.

Serve with lemon wedges and caster sugar, or your favourite filling. Once cold, you can layer the pancakes between baking parchment, then wrap in cling film and freeze for up to 2 months.

Have a good week everybody.

The AB Team