THE STORY OF PILATES

...how one man's vision changed the world.

Pilates was first introduced over 100 years ago by a man named Joseph Pilates.


Born in Germany in 1883, Joseph fought a long and difficult battle with his health throughout his childhood and into his early adult years.


Determined to strengthen his body as a young adult, he began studying yoga, meditation, martial arts, and various Greek and Roman exercises which he began to use in his everyday life.


Serving as a hospital orderly During World War I, he witnessed the slow and painful rehabilitation attempts of injured soldiers and so decided to use his own rehabilitation and recovery experiences to develop an exercise method that assist returning injured soldiers with their rehabilitation. A method that would allow the body to move with grace, ease and efficiency while promoting strength, conditioning and gentle recovery.


Doctors at the hospital were amazed at the increased recovery rates of the soldiers and word soon got out, with many hospitals adopting similar rehabilitation techniques for their patients.


It wasn’t long before the doctors began to practice the Joseph Pilates method for themselves, recommending this new exercise to anyone who would listen and quickly making it the favourite exercise option of the elite in New York in the 1960’s with its popularity expanding further across the globe as word of his unique method of exercising began to spread. 


Joseph Pilates went on to develop a range of Pilates equipment such as the reformer-machine, Pilates band and Pilates circle that we still see used in Pilates studios today. In fact, his first prototype for the now popular reformer-machine was a WW1 hospital bed with springs attached.  

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