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The History Of Pilates

How the Pilates fitness method originated

The History of Pilates 

In 1914, Joseph Pilates, the man for whom the pilates exercise method was named, was a boxer and performer living in England. When WWI began, he was placed under forced internment in Lancaster, England along with many other German nationals.

While in captivity, Pilates taught fellow camp members the concepts and exercises developed over 20 years of disciplined self-study and apprenticeship in yoga, Zen, and ancient Greek and Roman physical regimens. This became the basis for the Pilates fitness regimen.

At the same time, Pilates began developing the system of original exercises known today as "matwork," or exercises performed on the floor. He named this regimen "Contrology."

A few years later, Pilates was transferred to another camp where he became a caretaker/nurse to the many internees suffering from disease and physical injury. Here, Pilates began developing equipment to help him rehabilitate his "patients," taking springs from the beds and using them to create spring resistance and therapeutic “movement” for the bedridden. 

In many ways, Pilates equipment today isn't that much different than it was then. Spring tension, straps to secure the hands or feet, supports for the back, neck, and shoulder are as important now as they were way back then.

Because of the remarkable nature of the pilates equipment to both support and challenge the body as it learns to move more efficiently, the wonderfully designed pieces truly act as a great complement to the challenging pilates "matwork" exercises.

Related article:   Pilates: A Powerful Fitness Method

Article supplied by ARA Content.

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