The history of Pilates shows that It wasn’t always about ballerinas

Joseph Pilates began developing the method during World War I, when he was interned in an English Army Hospital and began rehabilitating injured soldiers. As patients were often placed on bed rest back then he attached springs to their beds to provide resistance, this was the very beginning of the exercise apparatuses that you see in our studio today.

In 1926, Joseph moved to New York and began working with actors and dancers thus further developing and modifying his unique form of exercise. In further developing his exercises, he researched many exercise techniques such as yoga, gymnastics, skiing, boxing, circus and weight training and selected what he felt to be the most effective elements from each discipline. He developed ‘the perfect balanced program’ for mind and body – combining both flexibility and strength throughout.

In many ways Joseph Pilates was several centuries ahead of conventional medical knowledge. He understood the value of exercise and even managed to work out how to identify how to isolate his deep abdominals without any of the medical knowledge we have today. In fact it could be argued that it has taken 70 years of medical research to confirm his initial hypotheses on deep core muscles.

Despite this the initial exercise resume that Joseph Pilates developed has many differences to what we practice today. Clinical Pilates; the method we follow at The Studio assimilates our new knowledge in health and exercise science to provide some of the most evidence based exercise forms available.