Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. In 1912 he
moved to England and earned a living as a boxer, a
circus performer and a self-defense trainer. During
World Was I he was sent to a camp in Lancaster where
he trained other inmates in fitness and exercises and
this is where the beginning of the Pilates method
It was about 1925 when Joseph Pilates migrated to the
U.S. On the ship he came over on, he met his future
wife, Clara. In New York City, they began a studio and
taught and supervised students all the way until the
Pilates method of exercise used the mind to control
the muscles of the body. It focuses on the core
muscles of the abdomen to help keep the body balanced.
A balanced body provides support for the spine.
Pilates also teaches awareness of breathing and
alignment of the spine to strengthen the torso
muscles. Strong core muscles can help to relieve back
and neck pain.
When Joseph Pilates was a child, he was sickly,
suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. It
was after this that he began to dedicate his life to
better health and becoming physically stronger.
By the age of 14, he was fit enough to post for
anatomical charts mostly due to his practicing of
gymnastics and bodybuilding.
Joseph believed the root of poor health came from poor
breathing practices and bad posture. His practice of
Pilates is undoubtedly the most popular form of