Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany, the UK and the USA. As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States.
Pilates called his method Contrology, because he believed that his method uses the mind to control the muscles. Pilates is a body conditioning routine that helps to not only build flexibility, but also strength, endurance, and coordination in the legs, abdominals, arms and back.
Joseph Pilates published two books in his lifetime which related to his training method: Your Health: A Corrective System of Exercising That Revolutionizes the Entire Field of Physical Education (1934) and Return to Life through Contrology (1945). In common with early C20 physical culture, Pilates had an extremely high regard for the Greeks and the physical
prowess demonstrated in their Gymnasium.