Before World War I, he spent time touring England as a circus performer and professional boxer and later teaching self-defense and wrestling to the Scotland Yard police force. When WW1 broke out, he found himself interned in England as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man. He helped the patients in the internment camps through isometric resistance exercises, which improved their breathing and their overall health, helping them to overcome the influenza epidemic prevalent around the camp. He designed a unique series of vigorous physical exercises which helped to correct muscular imbalances and improve posture, coordination, balance, strength, control and flexibility, as well as to increase breathing capacity and organ function. He also invented a variety of training equipment, based on spring resistance, which could be used to perform these exercises.
Both videos to the right and bellow, show Joe Pilates demonstrating certain routines. I can imagine both videos must look extreme to some people whilst others may feel inspired. I choose both of these videos to help people understand what Pilates is all about as I believe it’s a fine example of highlighting the control, flexibility and strength required from the body to perform such movements.