Contrology – the history of Pilates


[Photo from German World Online]

A couple of weeks ago I was attending a class at the Hendra Studio when one of our wonderful instructors started telling us about the history of pilates.  I was intrigued when I found out pilates was originally called Contrology, so I did some research when I got home and found that Pilates has such a fascinating history.  I  just had to share with you all so I decided to write a blog post about it.

Joseph Pilates

Believe it or not, Pilates is actually named after Joseph Pilates (pictured above) who was a physical trainer in the early-mid 1900s. Originally from Germany, Joseph Pilates’ interest in the body developed from a young age as he suffered from ailments such as asthma, Ricketts (a disease of the bones) and had many illnesses as a child. These illnesses led to him studying anatomy.  His studies in anatomy led to his further studies of the ancient greeks and romans, yoga, and acrobatics. From here, he used his background in engineering to create a pulley system which we now know as the Reformer Machine.


Contrology was developed after many years of training and research by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s.  He initially developed the system for rehabilitation purposes, particular for soldiers returning from war and dancers. Also known as “the science of control”, Contrology is all about combining flexibility, strength and self awareness. Joseph Pilates describes it in his book Return to Life Through Contrology as, “… the complete coordination of the body, mind and spirit.”

Pilates or Contrology offers numerous benefits to those who practise regularly.  In fact, benefits can include increased strength, flexibility (particularly in the abdomen and back), coordination, posture, balance, core strength, joint health, and increased lung capacity from the deep breathing throughout the workout. So… what are we still doing here? Let’s get our butt to a class!

Want to put pilates into practice? Call or email us to find the right class and location for you. Joining the Rebalance Family means more than just a workout. We care about your wellbeing and have a supportive environment.  We prioritise your wellbeing and provide a sanctuary for you to come and relax.  Workout, but workout with purpose with us!

Written by Bec Hartley – Digital Marketing Assistant

Bec Hartley - Rebalance Pilates and Yoga
By | 2017-11-07T23:20:06+00:00 November 14th, 2017|Pilates|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. […] industry, but it has actually been around for a very long time!!  German born Joseph Pilates created the concept to help his own childhood ailments and refined his exercises as an adult to maintain strength, […]

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