The Pilates method was developed by the late Joseph Pilates. In the early 1900's he began developing an exercise system and drew from various disciplines to formulate a system that worked for his own body, and eventually for others around him.
He was interned in the first world war and taught his method to other internees, successfully maintaining their health through the influenza epidemic of 1918. As a hospital orderly he began working with bed ridden patients. The doctors soon noticed the beneficial effect of the method.
Pilates moved to New York in the 1920's, and set up a studio where he worked with the city's athletes, dancers and actors. The technique complemented their traditional programmes - building strength without adding bulk and balancing that strength with flexibility, giving a toned streamlined body.
With more than nine decades of success, Pilates stands out against other fitness techniques as a tried and tested formula for achieving results.