Private Pilates

Joseph Pilates


At the beginning of the 20th century, the German Joseph Hubert Pilates developed his training method that he called “Contrology”.

“Contrology begins with mind control over muscles” (J. Pilates)

As a child, Pilates suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatism. He refused to give in to his health problems, and decided instead to fight them, and in so doing, he strengthened his body. He did gymnastics, skied, and worked as a professional boxer and artist.

Inspired, among other things, by far-Eastern martial arts, he continued to develop his broad experience in movement.

With injured prisoners of war during the First World War, he experimented using springs attached to the beds to build up the strength of the bed-ridden soldiers. The first prototypes of the Pilates equipment are still used today, they are called Cadillac and Universal Reformer.

In 1926, he moved to New York, where he taught his method in his own studio until he died.
Joe Pilates’ passion was boxing. His studio in NYC was near Madison Square Garden which was the centre of the boxing world at that time. The fitness training of a professional boxer is considered by some to be the most demanding of all. The Pilates method improves strength, stamina and coordination.

From the 1930s to the 1960s Pilates provided individual and creative training. For each client, he drew up an individual exercise program and developed more and more new exercises specially adapted to each person. He taught according to gender; he developed “male” and “female” exercises. It was not until his death that his successors added various changes and stylistic aspects (influence from dance, physiotherapy, a mix of classic Pilates exercises with other forms of movement).