History of Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in 1880 in Germany and turned to physical fitness to improve his body image, becoming a keen sportsman in his teens and twenties. Interned in the UK during the First World War, he developed a focused and considered fitness programme for his fellow internees in order to maintain their health and fitness levels.

He later decided to emigrate to the United States of America and set up his first fitness studio in New York, at an address he shared with the New York City Ballet. His unique exercise philosophy soon attracted a wide audience including dancers, actors, sportsmen and women all wishing to undertake tuition in a workout that built strength without adding bulk, balanced that strength with flexibility, and achieved harmony between mind and muscle, resulting in less stress, improved posture, blood flow and enhanced general health, with a marked reduction in many joint and muscle problems.

Brought to the UK in the late 1960's, Pilates has seen both expansion and evolution to date, with matwork classes and fully equipped studios becoming established.


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