Joseph Pilates is the man who discovered the unique set of movement and stretches which we call
Pilates. After discovering and establishing the unique set of physical activities, Joseph Pilates went ahead to develop his ideas into an outstanding program that we have today as Pilates. Continue reading to know more about this amazing human.
Joseph Pilates was born a German in 1883; he spent a major part of his adult years as a gymnast, bodybuilder and trainer. Joseph also mastered martial arts such as Jiu-Jitsu, and he was a trained boxer
Over the years, Joseph formed and developed a series of physical stretches and movements which he
did by applying his knowledge of gymnastics, yoga, martial arts, and bodybuilding. He sought to develop
a physical exercise that targeted the entire human body with the aim of achieving strength training,
physical fitness, balance, and flexibility.
At this time, Joseph named his developing physical fitness regimen Contrology. Joseph Pilates took
advantage of the internment by the British soldiers during World War I to develop his set of physical
activities and train other inmates at the camps he was kept.
Joseph Pilates noted that his ideas were working; many of the inmates he taught at the camps were able
to stay physically fit and strong to survive the harsh weather and poor living conditions. After the war,
Joseph Pilates returned to Germany, where he sought ways to develop his ideas and make it public. He
was contracted by the Police unit in German cities to engage officers in physical training; they realized
the benefits of his ideas for strength training and physical fitness. In 1921, Joseph Pilates immigrated to
In New York, Joseph Pilates set up a studio, with his wife Clara, to teach dancers and ballerinas his
unique set of physical movements aimed at helping his students become stronger, develop endurance,
and perform better. One student stood out from the rest; her name is Kryzanowska. After a successful
career as a Ballerina, Kryzanowska was forced into early retirement due to an injury.
Kryzanowska became the lead teacher at Joseph Pilates studio after her retirement. She inherited the
studio when Joseph died, and established the physical fitness programs taught in the studio as Pilates in
As a young child, Joseph was frequently in bed with different illnesses such as asthma and fever. He
became dedicated to training his body to become strong and physically fit. Joseph achieved this goal; he became stronger and healthier than many people around him and started teaching them to attain good
health and wellbeing using Pilates.
On his path to discovering and establishing Pilates, Joseph focused on some particular principles as a
holistic guide to achieving his dreams. He carefully selected principles that aided discipline and long
The principles Joseph applied while developing Pilates are as follows, Concentration, Control, Precision,
Centering, Flow, and Breath. Till this moment, these are the principles that all Pilates sessions apply
while the students learn.