Mar 1, 2020

Pilates Origin

Pilates initially was not intended for weight loss, but to stay alive in internment camps.

At the dawn of World War I, the British government was suspicious of young German residents. To control the immigrant population, the British arrested many of them and placed them in camps on the Isle of Man. One of these camps, Knockaloe, interned 23,000 prisoners. Conditions were grim. Many inmates reported “barbed-wire disease,” a mental weariness similar to depression.

Joseph Pilates thought he had the cure for his fellow inmates’ blues. He believed that exercise could strengthen the German’s resolve. He crafted a rudimentary workout machine by re-configuring bed-frames. The contraption stretched and built muscles even while lying in bed. After the war, the equipment became the Pilates Cadillac. His product worked and none of the prisoners who used Pilates’ equipment died during the influenza outbreak of 1918. After a successful tour in America, Pilates became a guru for health enthusiasts around the world.

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