As the name suggests, Susan Spero’s "Pilates Plus" training methods are
heavily indebted to the work of famed exercise guru Joseph Pilates.
Pilates developed his unique series of exercises while
struggling to repair his own body, which had been badly damaged in childhood.
He then adapted his personal training system-- performed with no
other props than a mat and the floor-- to the needs of bedridden soldiers
suffering from war time injuries (The soldiers' beds and bed springs were the first Pilates machines).
In time, his principles and techniques for breath
and movement were adopted all over the world. Professional dancers, in
particular, immediately recognized that the Pilates method, with its emphasis
on building abdominal and back strength while at the same time developing
spinal flexibility, could help them maintain the lithe, resilient bodies they needed to perform.
The "Plus" in Susan’s method, however, cannot be quite so readily defined.
That's because the plus varies from person to person. Susan’s clients come to
her with a wide range of goals and/ or problems. Some want to look leaner and
develop greater flexibility. Others hope to improve a body weakened by injury, illness
or aging. To accommodate them, Susan employs a variety of props, ranging from
those that can be used at home, like exercise bands, small weights, stability
or bosu balls, to the Pilates machines available in her studio, like the classic
Pilates cadillac, chair and reformer. Because she teaches only individuals or small
groups, Susan can readily modify the traditional Pilates mat and machine-based
exercises and thereby create the perfect match between physical training and
individual strength or weakness.
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