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Who was Joseph Pilates?

Born in Germany in 1880, Joseph H. Pilates had a lifelong interest in body conditioning. As a frail child dedicated to becoming stronger, he later grew to become an accomplished skier, diver, gymnast, and boxer.

While interned in England during World War I for his German citizenship, Joseph became a nurse. During this time, he designed exercise apparatus for immobilized patients by attaching springs to hospital beds. This system formed the foundation for his style of body conditioning and specialized exercise apparatus, which he brought to New York City when he opened the first New York Pilates Studio® in 1926.

Currently, the Pilates Method is used internationally by individuals at all levels of fitness as well as by dance companies, Broadway shows, students at performing arts schools and universities, sports teams, spa clients, and fitness enthusiasts at private health clubs and gyms.