Origin of the Word “Pilates”

Pilates – we’ve all heard of it and many of our friends and family are practising it but where does the word “Pilates” actually come from?

Pilates is the brainchild of Joseph Pilates who called this method of physical discipline “Contrology”. Originally from Germany, he immigrated to Britain and moved to America.

Joseph Pilates devised this new approach of exercise and body-conditioning in the early 20th century; he also incorporated the use of apparatus which is well-known as the Pilates reformer.

Today Pilates is practised worldwide in western countries, and as of 2005 there were in excess of 11 million devotees using this discipline on a regular basis as part of their exercise routine. There is definite proof that proves that Pilates assists with muscle conditioning in healthy individuals.

Joseph Pilates is in all probability the very first individual to combine Western and Eastern ideas regarding health and physical fitness.

He researched every type of exercise which ranged from the more classical Roman and Greek exercise regimes to gymnastics and body-building; he then placed this alongside practising the Eastern disciplines including tai chi, Zen meditation and yoga. Additionally, Pilates studied anatomy in-depth and the movement of animals, all the while recording these results.

Once Pilates returned to Britain after the war, he worked with pioneers of movement techniques such as Rudolph Laban who created the fundamental system of dance notation which is still in use today.

Pilates first called his technique “Contrology”, and only later did it become known by his name. Pilates viewed Pilates as a mental and physical conditioning in which individuals could work their bodies reaching their full potential.

Joseph Pilates viewed Pilates as a mental as well as physical conditioning regime.