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What Is Pilates?

Pilates is a series exercises inspired by calisthenics, yoga and ballet. Pilates lengthens and stretches muscles  in the body in a balanced fashion. It improves core strength, mobility, flexibility, overall strength, balance and body awareness.

The traditional method of Pilates is low-impact, focusing on flexibility, muscular strength and endurance. 

"In Shape Pilates" delivers gentle exercises suitable for everyone at any age or ability.


What are the benefits of Pilates?

There are many health benefits of Pilates and they include-

  • improved flexibility and mobility

  • increased core strength (abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks)

  • improved muscle tone and length

  • improved back and joint pain

  • balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body

  • enhanced muscular tone

  • improved posture

  • rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances

  • improved physical coordination and balance

  • relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back

  • safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries

  • prevention of musculoskeletal injuries

  • improved concentration

  • increased body awareness

  • stress management and relaxation


Joseph Pilates

Who Is Joseph Pilates?

Joe Hubertus Pilates grew up in grinding poverty. Born in 1883, the second of nine children of Friedrich and Helena Pilates, Joe grew up in the industrial town of Gladbach (now known as Mönchengladbach) near Dusseldorf.

During the First World War, he was interned with other German nationals. It was at this time he developed his technique of physical fitness further, by teaching his fellow internees. During the latter part of the War, he served as an orderly in a hospital on the Isle of Man where he worked with patients unable to walk. He attached bed springs to the hospital beds to help support the patients' limbs, leading to the development of his famous piece of equipment known as the 'Cadillac.

After the war, from 1920 to 1923, Joe owned a boxing gym near Dusseldorf. He also helped establish an amateur boxing network in the area and even stepped into the ring as a professional himself at least six times.

Far more than a recent fitness craze, Pilates has been developed and practiced since the 1920's when Joseph and Clara Pilates opened their 'Body Conditioning Gym' in New York City.

While Joe is the man behind the method, it was his wife Clara that became the real teacher in the studio and allowed the method to be passed on to apprentices.

References   Eva Rincke​  Accessed 3/11/2019​ 

Accessed 3/11/19

Return to Life Through Contrology- Revised edition for 21st Century 1998- Joseph Pilates​

Accessed 3/11/19


I invented all these machines... it resists your movements in just the right way so those inner muscles really have to work against it. That way you can concentrate on movement. You must always do it slowly and smoothly. Then your whole body is in it." - Joseph Pilates