If you aim to understand the power Pilates has in strengthening your body, it would be appropriate to take a short glimpse at the history of the exercise program. You may have the impression that Pilates is like Yoga, which has been developed thousands of years ago. Be informed that Pilates was only developed in the 1920s, during the height of the World War I.
It was 1880 when a sickly baby was born in Dusseldorf, Germany. The boy was named Joseph Pilates. As a very young child, Joseph was contended in watching his friends jump, run, and play games. He was not able to do the same because his weak body was frail. That was when the methods of Pilates were conceived by the young Joseph.
Joseph was very determined to find ways to improve his physical strength, stamina, and overall health. He then set a lifelong quest for an appropriate fitness program and exercise. Joseph not only succeeded in overcoming his physical frailties. Eventually, he mastered them all. As he aged, Joseph stood to become an accomplished gymnast, boxer, skier, and yogi.
During the World War I, Joseph took an internship in England. There he worked as a male nurse, treating and attending to injured victims of the war. He was very convinced in his own belief that specific exercises could effectively help in the rehabilitation of badly damaged bodies. Most of the patients he handled were not really able to move. Joseph’s determination to help patients gain mobility and strength was undeterred.
He then rigged up hospital beds of war patients with springs and straps. At the same time, Joseph created several series of strategic exercises that aim to help move patients’ joints through great ranges of motion. Such exercises aimed to also help patients develop flexibility, endurance, and muscle strength. Surprisingly, most of Joseph’s patients were eventually able to finally get up and then move around on their own.
Joseph, together with his wife, moved to New York City in 1923. There, the couple opened a fitness studio that aimed to provide rehabilitation to injured dancers. Several famous dancers that became clients of the studio were Martha Graham and George Balanchine. Since then, word about the Pilates method spread like wildfire.
Soon the renowned Pilates method became an exercise of choice not just by many dancers but also by many professional athletes and entertainment icons. For many decades, Pilates was enjoyed exclusively by the elite community. It was a form of an exercise program that was enjoyed only by the rich and the famous.
However, in the past decade, Pilates found its way to reach more people. Many membership gyms and fitness clubs have started offering Pilates classes and sessions. Many people have since then discovered for themselves how Pilates could truly help them effectively gain flexibility, strength and body balance. Most of them have been awed by the fact that they need not spend more time at the gym just to attain desired results. Not surprisingly, Pilates emerged to become among the hottest trends in fitness and health.