Joseph Hubertus Pilates (December 9, 1883 – October 9, 1967) invented and promoted the Pilates method of physical fitness.
Joseph H. Pilates was born in 1883 in Mönchengladbach, Germany. His father, Heinrich Friedrich Pilates, was a prize-winning gymnast, and his mother worked as a naturopath.
Pilates was a sickly child and suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, and he dedicated his entire life to improving his physical strength. Besides skiing frequently, he began studying body-building, yoga, "kung fu" (probably what is now known as qigong), and gymnastics. By the age of 14, he was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts. Pilates came to believe that the "modern" life-style, bad posture, and inefficient breathing lay at the roots of poor health. He ultimately devised a series of exercises and training-techniques and engineered all the equipment, specifications, and tuning required to teach his methods properly...
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