Pilates was developed in the early to mid 20th Century by a German athlete called Joseph Pilates. Joseph had been a frail child suffering from rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. Determined to overcome this, he experimented with different forms of fitness approaches including yoga, gymnastics, skiing, self defence, dance, circus training and weight training, successfully perfecting the balance of strength and flexibility in his body.
Joseph then further developed his training technique on others, initially in England and later in New York where he set up a highly successful studio with his wife. His initial clients at the New York studio were boxers, but they were soon joined by top ballet dancers, actors, actresses, gymnasts and athletes.
"My method develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong posture, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit" Joseph Pilates
Joseph Pilates died in 1967, leaving behind a huge legacy of work which became known as "Pilates". Pilates practice in the 21st Century is still based on the original teachings by Joseph Pilates, however advances in exercise science have enabled adaptations to the technique, making it a safe effective exercise that can be practiced by almost anyone.