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Pilates... A Little History

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Pilates... A Little History

Joseph PilatesPilates was developed by Joseph Pilates, a gymnast and boxer, who was born in Germany in 1880 and had a lifelong interest in body conditioning. During World War I, he served as a nurse in a British interment camp. Pilates rigged hospital beds with springs to support his patients' weak limbs to begin their recovery process. While he worked with them, doctors noticed that patients, who practiced Pilates, improved faster than those who did not. This spring-based apparatus became the first "machine" Pilates developed. This system, combined with Mat work, formed the foundation of his method.

The first official Pilates studio was set up in New York City in 1926. Dancers and performers have been using this method ever since. Today, it has also filtered into the sports and fitness world.

Joseph Pilates was in England at the outbreak of World War I and was placed in a German National internment camp. There he taught fellow camp members the concepts and exercises he developed over twenty years, eventually creating the system of exercise known as Pilates Matwork. When transferred to another camp, he became a nurse/caretaker to those with wartime diseases and injuries, and it was here that he devised equipment to rehabilitate his patients, taking springs from the beds and rigging them to create equipment.

Today, the Pilates method is practiced and taught throughout the world, providing heath benefits to the young and old alike.