Photos of People doing Piltaes

About Pilates


Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880.  Little is known of his early life, though he is thought to have been a sickly child, suffering Rheumatic Fever, Asthma, and Ricketts.  Pilates fought to overcome these conditions, developing his own comprehensive exercise and breathing programme to become an accomplished gymnast, diver and skier. 

Pilates focussed his exercises on strengthening the core muscles of the body, toning the abdominals and stabilising the muscles of the trunk.  This helps prevent injury to the back (Pilates is often recommended for the rehabilitation of past injuries) and strengthens the limbs, working the body in all directions to achieve a strong overall balance.

Pilates’ method also emphasises proper breathing. In this respect it is similar to Yoga (many clients find concentrating on the exercises promotes relaxation and relieves stress).

In the 1920s Pilates moved to New York and opened his Body Conditioning studio with his wife Clara.  The studio rapidly became popular with professional dancers who recognised Pilates’ ability to improve posture, flexibility and co-ordination.

Pilates worked to develop his exercises right up until his death in 1967. Through his publishing of booklets and the enthusiasm of his students, his method has now gained worldwide popularity.

Today, over one hundred years since Pilates’ birth, general practitioners, physiotherapists and osteopaths increasingly recommend Pilates as one of the safest forms of exercise.



Member of Pilates Foundation

Phot of Joseph Pilates
Joseph Pilates