Joseph Pilates developed his exercise philosophy of "Body and Mind Contrology" in the 1920s. Opening his first dedicated studio in New York, his system, which focused on improving posture, increasing strength and flexibility and generally toning the body through deep muscle control, immediately attracted the attention of the professional dance community. Pin-pointing weaknesses in their training techniques, he was able to help them achieve bodies even more resistant to strain and injury.
For years, dancers, athletes and sportsmen and women have used Pilates as a method for rebalancing musculature. Equally, for those with injuries it is a wonderful rehabilitative technique, enabling people to continue to work through a recovery period. Likewise, with it's emphasis on core stability training, Pilates is great for those with specific issues (e.g. chronic back pain, sciatica, frozen shoulders, disc problems) as it focuses on building up supportive muscles and stretching out tight areas.