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Joseph Hubertus Pilates, creator of the Joe Pilates method, was a German with a passion for physical activity and boxing, born on December 9, 1883 in (Mönchengladbach).

His ideas regarding health were largely influenced by the vigorous outdoor training methods of his time.

While working in the United Kingdom, World War I broke out and he was imprisoned as a prisoner in a concentration camp.

And during those years, as he witnessed the hopelessness and loss of his fellow soldiers’ bodies and minds, he began to develop his series of exercises that would become the Mat component of his training system called Contrology.

Understanding that the Pilates method was created to inspire the will to continue living among locked-up prisoners will give you an idea of how vital the work is.

This is very significant beyond simply being a set of exercises, or a single piece of apparatus.

Joseph Pilates said in an interview he gave to a New York newspaper in 1959 “I based my method on the baby and the cat”.

Pilates is a vigorous body conditioning method that was created by a man for men, originating from a place of vitality to inspire the body and mind to live healthy.

Within his training he studied with precision body mechanics and excellent breathing.

What is the Classical Pilates Method or Contrology?

After the war, Joseph settled with his partner Clara in New York, and it is here that he opened the original Contrology studio, and began to develop his incredible array of devices.

Joe and Clara Pilates had a system of classes as we have in Estudio Pilates Malaga. Joe Pilates would sit down with the client and ask: Why did you come here, then he would give 3 private classes (introductory bonus), and then they would do open studio classes, which are group classes where the clients would continue to do their own exercises.

An important note to make here is that Pilates apparatus (today, misnamed Pilates with Machines) while offering ways to exercise the body that is not available in Mat work, was created primarily to improve the body’s connections in Mat exercises.

This means, importantly, that there are threads running through the entire Pilates system.

Therefore, to experience authentic Pilates, you must be taught exercises on various apparatus that will specifically help you better understand the key connections in the work.

Difference between Classical and Contemporary Pilates

It is important to note that almost all contemporary Joe Pilates equipment is not made to the exact standards and specifications of Joseph Pilates’ original designs.

This means that the customer experience is incredibly different and, in most cases, diluted.

The equipment makes a difference that can make or break the client’s understanding of how the exercises should really feel and how they should help the body achieve it.

The Classic Pilates apparatus was designed by Joseph Pilates to help establish the fundamental principles of each exercise, not to look a certain way or to be adaptable for other uses.

Classical Pilates studios only use equipment that adheres to these original designs and are sourced internationally from only a few suppliers.

The Pilates legacy was left to a very small group of people who had the opportunity to teach under Joe and Clara, and we have learned directly from one of their students, Jay Grimes (Vintage Pilates – Los Angeles).

From the time the name Pilates was considered a generic name, the system has exploded and become distorted, however, by closely following the lessons of these original few, we can still train in a way that honors the work of the original method and study.

The Pilates Method is universal, it is open to everyone, and when applied to the body individually, it produces incredible improvements.


If you want to know more about the Pilates method and back injuries click here

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Carmen Dolz
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I got to know Estudio Pilates through their website. I started personalized classes a month ago, and I am very happy. Ernesto is a very good professional and the center is cozy and clean.
Nina Celikei
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Ernesto as a teacher is very perfectionist and professional. He has a lot of wisdom since he has trained with the best. The good thing is that after so many years with pilates he still has passion and continues to train, this guarantees me high quality classes with him.
Inma Moya
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Studio 100% recommended for its quality and professionalism. The classes are personalized and help you progress both physically and mentally.