What Was Pilates Originally Called?

Pilates is a popular form of exercise that focuses on improving flexibility, strength, and overall body awareness. It has gained immense popularity in recent years, with people from all walks of life incorporating it into their fitness routines. But have you ever wondered what Pilates was originally called? In this blog post, we will delve into the history of this remarkable exercise method and explore its original name.

The Origins of Pilates

Pilates was developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, a German-born physical trainer who sought to create an exercise system that not only focused on physical fitness but also mental well-being. Born in 1883 near Düsseldorf, Germany, Joseph had experienced various health ailments during his childhood and adolescence.

The Method’s Original Name: Contrology

Originally, Joseph Pilates referred to his revolutionary exercise method as “Contrology.” The term derives from the idea that full control over one’s body movements allows for optimal physical performance.

Refining the Contrology Technique

In the early 20th century, Joseph moved to England and began teaching his unique approach to fitness. He opened a studio in Hoxton Square in London where he instructed dancers and athletes using his technique. Over time, he refined Contrology through experimentation and observation of human movement patterns.

Influences Leading to Change

During World War I, Joseph found himself interned along with other German nationals due to rising anti-German sentiment at the time. While interned at an English camp on the Isle of Man during this period (1914-1918), he utilized bedsprings attached to hospital beds as resistance equipment for rehabilitation exercises for the injured.

Evolution into Pilates

It was during his time in the internment camp that Joseph began working on refining and further developing his exercise system. He used this period to perfect his techniques, incorporating various equipment modifications such as springs to add resistance and support to specific movements.

After World War I ended, Joseph returned to Germany but soon left due to the country’s political climate. He immigrated to the United States in 1926 with his wife Clara and opened a studio in New York City. This is when Contrology officially became known as “Pilates,” named after its creator.

The Popularity of Pilates Today

Pilates has come a long way since its inception. It gained popularity among dancers, athletes, and celebrities for its ability to improve strength, flexibility, posture, and body awareness without placing excessive strain on joints or muscles.

In recent decades, Pilates has become more accessible than ever before. With countless studios offering classes worldwide and online platforms providing virtual sessions wherever you are located, people from all walks of life can experience the benefits of this fantastic exercise method originally known as Contrology.

The Final Word

Pilates’ original name may have been “Contrology,” but it was ultimately transformed into what we now know as Pilates by its creator Joseph Hubertus Pilates himself. Regardless of its name though, one thing remains clear – this innovative fitness method continues to shape lives around the world by improving physical well-being while fostering mental resilience.