Joseph Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany and when he was living in England in the 1920’s he was placed in forced internment during WWI. During this internment he began to develop floor exercises that evolved into the Pilates Mat work we know today. Pilates eventually began to work rehabilitating detainees who were suffering from injuries and used the hospital beds combined with springs and beer keg rings to create resistance exercise equipment that we now know as the Reformer, Cadillac and more. His method uses specially designed equipment as well as traditional mat work to restore and strengthen musculoskeletal balance. An integral part of Joseph Pilates is the time he spent designing his own equipment which is designed to challenge the body by utilizing the body’s weight plus springs, straps and supports to stretch, strengthen, lengthen and align the muscles. There is no other form of exercise that utilizes a system of springs.

“If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it's completely flexible at 60, you are young...the only real guide to your age lies not in years, or how old you think you feel, but...by the degree of natural and normal flexibility enjoyed by your spine throughout life.” ~ Joseph Pilates

Benefits of Pilates

Conventional workouts tend to shorten muscles and cause them to bulk up while Pilates elongates the muscles, combined with strength and flexibility. Professional dancers, hollywood celebrities and supermodels have known about the benefits of Pilates for decades and use it to maintain beautiful bodies. Today, even football and rugby players incorporate Pilates into their workout routines.

Unlike other types of exercise, Pilates doesn’t use repetition after repetition or holding of a position for long periods of time rather the focus is on controlled movements.

Pilates can:

    • Increase flexibility and muscle control
    • Strengthen and tone muscles without added bulk
    • Improve posture and core strength
    • Improve alignment, coordination and balance
    • Increase lung capacity and circulation
    • Improve range of motion
    • Uniformly develop muscles
    • Improve body awareness
    • Improve bone density and joint health
    • Improve the mind/body connection
“Pilates is 99% your mind telling your body what to do” ~ Romana Kryzanoswska


Romana Kryzanowska (protégé of Joseph Pilates) has been quoted as saying “Gratz equipment is an undeniable part of Pilates history. No other Pilates apparatus feels as good, lasts as long… the difference is clear with the first workout.

The  following apparatus make up the Pilates family of equipment:

Cadillac a.k.a Trapeze Table
Reformer a.k.a Universal Reformer
High Chair a.k.a Electic Chair
Arm Chair a.k.a. Baby Chair
Wunda Chair
Large Barrel a.k.a Ladder Barrel
Spine Corrector
Small Barrel a.k.a Half Barrel
Foot corrector
Neck Stretcher
Toe Exerciser
Bean Bag Roll-UP
Magic Circle
Arm Weights
Guillotine Tower