What is Pilates?

“The attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.

~ Joseph Pilates

The Pilates method is a highly effective full body workout that strengthens and stretches the entire body to create a well-balanced physique. Pilates offers a variety of stimulating training which consists of different variations of exercise, some of which are performed with or without equipment. Conscious breathing is also trained to stimulate the blood circulation and reduce cramping.

History of Pilates

Joseph Pilates founder of pilates
Joseph Pilates (1883 – 1967) – Image Source

Birthplace and Origin

  • Joseph Pilates was born in Germany 1883.


  • He was a sickly child and had only one wish – to be healthy and strong.


  • To be healthy and strong He studied Western forms of exercise like medical gymnastics, physical regimes in Germany, ancient Greek and Roman training methods as well as Far Eastern relaxation techniques.

The Study

  • He became very inquisitive and interested in the anatomy of the human body, analysed the movements of animals and also practiced in various sports such as diving, skiing, wrestling and boxing. In his youth, he had practiced many of the physical training regimes available in Germany, and it was from these he developed his own work. It has clear connections with the physical culture of the late Nineteenth Century, such as the use of special apparatuses and claims that the exercises could cure ill health. It is also related to the tradition of “corrective exercise” or “medical gymnastics” as typified by Pehr Henrik Ling

1st Emigration, Boxing, World War 1, Boxer becoming Nurse and the “Contrology”

  • In 1912, he decided to immigrate to England to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional boxer. At the outbreak of World War I, he spent time in captivity together with other Germans. In a camp on the Isle of Man, he worked as a male nurse, where he could apply his knowledge of the human body treating injured and diseased prisoners. In order to work with them more effectively, he utilized metal springs, which he fixed on hospital beds. This was the cornerstone of the development of his body-fitness program which he later called “Contrology”

2nd Emigration, Love affair in Titanic and The first Pilates Studio in New York

  • After the war, Joseph Pilates returned to Germany and coached the Hamburg police, Joseph refused the offer to train the German army, and instead he immigrated to the United States in 1925. On the ship he met his future wife Clara, a trained nurse. Together they opened the first Pilates studio in New York.

The Invention of Pilates equipment

  • Part scientist, mechanical genius and anatomist, he invented Pilates “Apparatus”, designed to help accelerate the process of stretching, strengthening, body alignment and increased core strength started by the Mat work. The best-known and most popular piece today, the Reformer, was originally called the Universal Reformer, aptly named for “universally reforming the body.” Eventually a full complement of equipment and accessories was designed by Pilates, including the Cadillac, Wunda Chair, High “Electric” Chair, Spine Corrector, Ladder Barrel and Pedi-Pole.

Development of Pilates method – “Contrology” and The Early Practice with Dancers

  • First half of the 20th century, he developed a system of exercises which were intended to strengthen the human mind and body. Pilates believed that mental and physical health are interrelated. He had great success in training dancers of The New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine. Pilates then become well known in the dance scene. George Balanchine trumpeted Joseph as a “genius of the body”.

The Present Practice

  • In different forms, Pilates can now be found in community centres, gyms, and physiotherapy rooms. Many other fitness services offered by Pilates-inspired businesses have mixed their own understanding of Pilates with other disciplines.

The Benefits

  • Develops long, lean, strong and flexible muscles
  • Develops and improves mind & body awareness
  • Improves posture and body alignment
  • Improves total body mobility and strength
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Decreases aches and pains especially in the neck, shoulders, back, hips and knees
  • Achieve a flatter stomach
  • Strengthens the core
  • Improves stamina
  • Improves performance in sports
  • Improves oxygen uptake
  • Helps to prevent osteoporosis
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Improves breathing technique thus making you feel more energized
  • Provides effective rehabilitation after an injury

Why Pilates Plus?

Doing Pilates is the same as making sure that you take the right nutrients for your body. It provides the body with a foundation to increase its capability to handle either the demands of your usual activities of daily living or your chosen sport.

Since we regard Pilates as a foundation exercise, we are taking our programs to more functional exercises that will provide a platform to link these fundamental movements to the specific demands of sports. We are committed to understanding our clients’ fitness needs and assisting our clients to achieve their fitness goals in the most efficient, safe and an enjoyable manner whilst combining Pilates with other functional exercises.


If you are not yet ready to commit but you are interested in trying out Pilates, you can first join our Trial Sessions

At PilatesPlus we offer group and private classes using different Pilates equipment. Our classes are kept small to ensure full and dedicated attention of our qualified and experienced instructors.

Book your TRIAL SESSIONS today!