Joseph Pilates

Born in Germany in 1880, Joseph Pilates was a frail child who suffered from asthma, rheumatic fever and rickets. Thus, began his life journey to fitness and health dedicated to improving his strength. He later became an accomplished skier, diver, gymnast and boxer. As a result he obtained his goal of developing a strong, fit and healthy physique and became a model for anatomy charts.

During World War I, Joseph Pilates was interned as a nurse in camps in England due to his German citizenship. It was here that he began devising machines by modifying hospital beds, taking the springs from the beds and rigging exercise apparatus so the wounded could also perform exercises. Thus, the foundation for his system of body conditioning was formed which he brought to New York when he opened his first Pilates Studio in 1926.

“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.” - Joseph H. Pilates, in 1965, age 86.