Joseph H. Pilates invented Art of Contrology (later named Pilates) in the early 20th century. He was born in Germany in 1883, and being a sickly child motivated him to study many different methods such as boxing, bodybuilding, acrobatics, yoga, Zen meditation and anatomy, in order to overcome his own weaknesses. By the age of fourteen he was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts. His fascination with the muscle function and it’s clear connection to well being, lead to his development of a progressive body–conditioning program, Art of Contrology. 

The method is best described as a “complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.” 

He believed that in order to free the body, mobility and flexibility has to be developed evenly throughout, initiated from a strong core musculature: The Powerhouse. And when performed correctly should stimulated blood circulation and trigger aerobic and muscular activity, equivalent to an internal shower. 

Although the mat work is the heart of the system, Mr. Pilates quickly realized that he needed to create support for the body to find the shapes and movements: the apparatus was born. Creating the apparatus he ensured that the body would work stress free with the help of resistance and opposition using springs. During his lifelong search for evolving the ultimate body control technique, circa 500 series of exercises were developed on six main apparatus.