This movement method is named after the German Joseph Pilates, who developed this exercise method in the early 18th century. He first applied it while being interned in an English camp during WW1, to rehabilitate the injured. He was later invited to train the German army, but instead relocated to America with his wife Clara. There they further developed and taught his method, catering to the needs of athletes, dancers and gymnasts among others.
Today, the Pilates method is practiced all over the world and is used as a tool for developing athletic performance, restoring function through rehabilitation, developing mindfulness and for leading a healthy and active lifestyle. It consists of a diverse set of bodyweight exercises done on a mat and using resistance on specialized Pilates equipment, with modifications to effectively train all fitness levels.