Exstress Fitness & Therapy

Exstress Fitness & Therapy

History of Pilates

The creator of Pilates is JOSEPH HUBERTUS PILATES. Born near Dusseldorf, Germany 1880. He was a sickly child, who suffered from Ashtma, rickets and rheumatic fever, he dedicated his entire life to becoming physically stronger.  In is youth Pilates studied and became proficient at body building, diving , skiing and gymnastics. By the time he was 14 he was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts.

In 1912 Pilates moved to England, where he earned a living by various means starting as a boxer, and moving on to be a circus performer and a self defence trainer of English detectives.  When World War 1 broke out he was interned in a camp in Lancaster and later on The Isle of Man. During his time in the camp he became a nurse, and also trained other interns in physical fitness.  He was widely credited when none of the other inmates died from a flu epidemic, that thousands more had succumbed to.

After the war Pilates returned to Hamburg, Germany where he worked with the local police force, where he stayed until 1926 he left Germany and moved to America.

During his voygage to New York he met Clara who eventually became his wife. 

He set up an exercise studio in New York, and whilst not much is known about the early development of the Pilates exercise regime, by the 1940 he was well known in the dance community.

That development has continued, and now there are various styles of Pilates on offer, but all are built on the basis of his original moves.