The creator of PILATES Joseph Pilates. He created the proven method, is sadly no longer with us. He died in 1967 at the age of 87 from smoke inhalation, the result of a fire in his New York Studio. He was in fantastic physical shape at the time of his death and could preform his method with grace and ease. His background knowledge is unknown except that he was born in 1880 into a working class family in Dusseldorf, Germany. It is thought that he suffered from several childhood diseases associated with poverty: rheumatic fever, asthma and rickets. These illnesses can make you under developed and weak and gain future structural deformities. At the age of fourteen he had totally transformed his body and posed for anatomical drawings. Joseph came to England in about 1912 and worked as a boxer and circus performer. He became involved with teaching detectives in the English police force but when war broke out he was interned in Lancaster and later, on the Isle of Man. He is reputed to have become a nurse and went on developing his method with other internees. At the time there was a particularly nasty influenza epidemic and his method was praised when none of the internees became infected. While he was still interned he designed the reformer by using the bed springs as an exercise unit, utilizing the tension of the springs to strengthen weak muscles. After the war he moved to New York and set up a studio which he ran with his wife, Clara a former nurse. Their success in restoring weak and sickly bodies was soon renowned. His technique particularly attracted people in the worlds of the performing arts and medicine. He took on apprentices and through them his method spread globally.
Joseph Pilates published his own book return to life through Controlology. He could see that modern day living, especially in the city, was having disastrous effect on people’s health and fitness levels. He believed there was a clear connection between poor posture, secondary lifestyles and ill health. He studied many types of body conditioning including bodybuilding and yoga and he found weight training and the usual form of weight training and stretching boring and monotonous, and realized they had the potential to make you stiff and tired.
Read more about Contrologyhttp://www.pilatesfoundation.com/pilates/the-history-of-pilates/
Read more about Knockaloe in the Isle of Manhttp://www.knockaloe.im
Joseph Pilates Eye Chart
Works the muscles of the eyes. Pictured is the authentic one we have in the studio.
The Small Barrel
We have 12 of these in the studio so enough for classes and privates. Clients love this piece of apparatus it’s like the little helper you can’t live without during mat class. I have 11 exact replicas from Joseph Pilates original barrel from his studio in Becket. The other is a Gratz.
The Wunda Chair
I have two Wunda chairs in the studio. The Wunda chair is so versatile and can be used both ways up.
The Electric Chair or High Chair
Hits straight to the spot. The amount of professional athletes who’s legs have had the shakes on this! My studio has one of these and is used in most sessions. Joseph Pilates had various versions of this which includes the one I have and one without a back board.
We have Joe Pilates replica wooden magic circles and a more cushioned version for those who need it. Multiple for classes and privates. This is used from head to feet.
Baby arm chair
We have one in the studio and it’s much harder than it looks.
The Pilates Folding Mat
Joe had many variations of his mat but all had a strap at one end and a pole the other. This is a picture of the studio mats I have.
Great for working the many muscles in the foot and connecting the feet to your seat. Joseph Pilates used the foot corrector in his studio. The below picture is my own Foot Corrector which is the same as the original foot corrector.
Small and mighty, so good at connecting the inner thigh and bum along with working your feet. Joseph Pilates had some great movements on this simple piece. We use these in class not just in private sessions.
Originally designed for studio or at home on door frames.
The Resister has arm springs, leg springs and an additional head spring. It’s not the same as the Cadillac or wall unit springs. Dimensions are completely different, spring tensions are unique and it’s a whole different feel and workout.
Hand Tensometer ( magic squares )
This great little apparatus is for the hand and fingers but connects the arm, shoulder and upper powerhouse when used correctly. There is two in the studio as pictured below.
The Bench Mat
An amazing piece of apparatus that you don’t know what an actual game changer it is until you actually try one. All the mat exercises, barrel and spine corrector exercises can be done on it along with the bench mat specific exercises Joe created.
Replica of the original Bench mat made by Pilates lineage.
Assists you in using correct breathing for the exercises Joe invented. Really promotes full breath in and full breath out using your powerhouse. We have one in the studio and multiple windmills that give you a similar experience when instructed correctly.