Posted on 17th Aug 2021 at 2:33pm

What is Pilates?

Pilates aims to strengthen the body in an even way, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing.



Joseph Humbertus Pilates was born in Germany in 1883 and moved to England in 1912. He developed an exercise method which enabled him to strengthen his own frail body which had been ravaged by rickets and asthma throughout his childhood. During WW1 while working as an orderly with wounded soldiers, the doctors witnessed the benefits of the therapeutic exercises he employed on those unable to walk. He incorporated the use of resistance springs, partially loading force on muscles, tendons and ligaments which further improved the recovery process.

After WW1 Joseph went back to Germany and expanded his exercises regime, he subsequently moved to America and opened THE PILATES STUDIO in New York with his wife Clara.

The rest as they say, is history, the Pilates legacy endures as it continues to evolve and benefit millions of people around the world today.



Aim of Pilates

To develop the deep, postural core muscles that support the spine throughout posture movements, enhance movement patterns and improve overall body alignment.

The result is the creation of a body that IS more efficient in daily activities and less prone to future pains and injuries.

This is achieved via the following Principles and Elements.


Principles                                       Key Elements

Breathing                                            Breathing

Concentration                                     Neutral spine and centre connection

Control                                                 Ribcage control and position

Centring                                               Shoulder blade position

Precision                                              Head and neck position


Integrated isolation




Matwork is a combination of the original 34 Pilates exercises which consist of strength, mobility and stretching exercises completed on the exercise mat.


At Physio and Health Matters we offer Mat Based Pilates classes. Classes are held in the gym in our Ross-on-Wye clinic and are also available via Zoom – wherever you are.

Please call us on 01989 548314 / 01676 533106 to book.