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Pilates takes its name from Joseph Pilates who was born in Dusseldorf in 1880. Pilates called his technique ‘Controlology’ – only later did it become known by his own surname. He conceived it as a mental as well as a physical conditioning in which individuals could work their bodies to their full potential. It has been developed and practiced since the 1920's when Joseph and his wife, Clara Pilates, opened their 'Body Conditioning Gym' in New York City.
Fundamentally, it is a form of exercise that focuses on strengthening and stretching the whole body to improve posture, balance, muscle strength and flexibility. It can help improve core strength and joint mobility as well as relieve stress and tension.