Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pilates? SPX Pilates?

2014 is coming to a close, and we’re starting to celebrate at Pilatesblue!
Thanksgiving is a day away and how thankful we are for our family & friends.
The holidays sometimes can add stress and over indulgence; we’ll welcome 2015 soon and say hello to New Year’s resolutions!

We’ve decided to do a little pre holiday blog on the question we hear every January, “Should I do traditional Pilates or SPX Pilates?”

I believe one can appreciate both methods. SPX is a group reformer type class on machines called the Megaformer.  Sebastien Lagree developed the exercise regime and the equipment in 2001. He was a Pilates enthusiast with a desire to take it to the next level. The SPX is an innovative and aggressive approach to full body conditioning.  The Megaformer™ workout strengthens the body, tones and elongates the muscles, improves endurance, jump-starts the metabolism, burns fat, increases flexibility and postural alignment, and restores the body’s natural balance.
"Since Pilates was first introduced almost 100 years ago, different styles of this intriguing system of exercise have emerged. This is a controversial evolution of Pilates. Certainly frowned upon by many Pilates purists, as some put it, “…a mutation of Pilates.
This technique is far removed from the classical method taught by Joseph Pilates. It opposes one of Pilates key principles, which advises against pushing the body to exhaustion. Instead, it incorporates the weight training principle of muscle failure, which helps boost muscle tone and development.
It follows some Pilates principles such as spinal and joint alignment, core activation (centering) and deep concentration. Nevertheless, this modification is considered a fitness-based exercise rather than a mind-body movement system. 
Despite its difference from traditional Pilates, this system of exercise has gained huge popularity, mostly due to the impressive results that people are experiencing within a short period of time. The many benefits associated with traditional Pilates are improved posture, alignment correction, body awareness and reduced back and joint pain. One telling benefit which amplifies the popularity in this fitness exercise technique is the effective weight and fat loss".*

What type of environment do you gravitate towards? Most Pilates studios are calm and serene places with peaceful colors and designed to help clients focus on the mind and body connection. In comparison, SPX studios have several machines. Where the goal is to break a sweat while working out to upbeat music.

Many of my Pilates colleagues, with a passion for the work of Joseph Pilates, find the SPX technique questionable. I think SPX is great for what it does for the body. As long as it’s being sold as fitness and resistance training class that includes Pilates elements. Not as an authentic Pilates class. People seek out Pilates classes after hearing of its healing properties; it’s important to go into an SPX class with some knowledge of the movement & equipment.
Nothing wrong with an evolution in Pilates, in fact its a compliment to the originator ~ Mr. Joseph H. Pilates himself. Maybe you would see him on the Megaformer in his 80’s rocking out to the latest Iggy Azalea.

My concern with SPX Pilates is technique. If it’s going to be taught with speed, and fast transitions on a moving megaformer, at least teach proper technique. To me proper form is imperative! With proper form one can gain the benefits of the movement without injury.

I’m happy to say under my watch, there have been no injuries. Some classes I have taken, I definitely feel like I should have given them a citation for lacking instruction & class awareness. When you’re exploring studios, talk to the instructors. Let them know if you have any injuries and what your exercise history is.  Make sure you are in the correct class for you; that the instructor explains the machine to you & you trust they will guide you properly & safely through the typical 50 minute session.
Traditional Pilates vs. SPX Pilates? My recommendation is take some traditional Pilates classes first to learn the proper technique & how to navigate the reformer. Know that traditional Pilates instructors have several years of training under their belt before they receive their certification. They understand the human anatomy, and can help you perfect your form.  
Many SPX trainers take weekend courses and may not be that familiar with anatomy & modifications.  Do your research and find a place that feels inspiring & welcoming. And then go rock out like none other! Get your heart racing on the Megaformer, and move safely from one exercise to another. 
Tell us what you think! Traditional Pilates vs. SPX Pilates? What do you like better? Or do you love both! We do! At Pilatesblue you will experience an infusion of both classical Pilates, SPX & The Sharp Method.  Details available upon request of all methods of movement. 
Book a session or a package, you'll be glad you did!. Send us an email at Tell us you read this blog, and we’ll give you a discount. 1 private class for $50.00 or 3 privates for $150.00 through February 2015.

Happy workouts, and happy holidays!
- Jaime 

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