Body Control


Joseph Hubertus Pilates1880-1967

If you are thinking of trying Pilates as your health and fitness routine, it is comforting to know that its originator lived to the ripe old age of eighty-seven! Joseph Pilates was born in Düsseldorf in 1880; he was a frail, sickly child who suffered from rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. He had however the determination to overcome this fragility and experimented with many different approaches of health and fitness. You can therefore recognize the different elements of these methods in his teaching. Yoga, gymnastics, skiing, self-defence, dance even circus training and weight training, all influenced him. He chose aspects of each to develop his own body. By absorbing these other methods and selecting the most effective features, Joseph Pilates was able to work out a system which he had the perfect balance of strength and flexibility. Having proven their worth on his own body, he then began to teach these techniques to others. He was training detectives at Scotland Yard when the First World War broke out and because of his nationality he was interned in Lancashire and then the Isle of Man. Whilst in the camp he used his time helping out in the infirmary and further developed his techniques, training his fellow internees with amazing success. Many of them were war veterans who had been horrendously wounded and these injuries had, in some cases, resulted in amputations. Much of his knowledge of rehabilitation comes from this period. At the end of the war he returned to Germany where he taught self-defence to the Hamburg police and the German army. In 1926 he decided to emigrate to the United Stated of America. On the boat he met his future wife Clara, and when they realized they shared the same views on fitness, they decided to set up a studio in New York. This attracted top ballet dancers (many sent from George Balanchine and Martha Graham), actors and actresses, gymnasts and athletes, all anxious to learn from Joseph Pilates. He wrote several books on fitness. The exercises he describes in them are very advanced and reflect the nature of his studio clientele.

“Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit”
Joseph Pilates

The Body Control Pilates Method

The Pilates method has now been taught for some eighty years, but it is only recently that the medical profession has really begun to look closely at why the system is so successful. Before this, many Pilates teachers taught intuitively, learning through apprenticeship about good alignment and good body use but in many cases, without fully knowing the technical medical terms for what they were doing. Under the close scrutiny of the medical world, we have had to re-examine our methods and study precisely why they work so well.

Our founder Lynne Robinson co-founded Body Control Pilates in 1996. Lynne was introduced to Pilates in 1992 after being recommended to take up classes as a solution to severe back problems from which she had suffered for many years.

Body Control Pilates is now renowned as a world leading education provider for Pilates Teaching. The education curriculum is internationally renowned and the membership body for Body Control Pilates Teachers is the largest professional organisation outside the USA. The method offers a comprehensive programme of exercises for mat work class. They are 'adapted' from Joseph Pilate’s classical exercises, which for many people are often not suitable. Body Control Pilates have broken these classical exercises down to establish good movement skills, therefore building a stable foundation from which to progress from. Body Control Pilates is effective and medically approved.

The Principles are Relaxation, Alignment, Breathing, Centring, Concentration, Co-ordination, Stamina and Flowing Movements. More information about Body Control Pilates can be found at:

Body Control Pilates is now one of the leading organisations nationally and internationally in the training of Pilates Teachers. They run courses that specialise in individual populations i.e.; Senior Pilates, Pregnancy and Post-Natal, as well as courses for professional sportsmen and women, dancers, golfers, They also run specialist courses in Breast Cancer rehabilitation and most commonly for people with spinal issues.

The foundation of the body Control method is based around the fact the Joseph Pilates original mat work sequence is very advanced, so we have taken his exercises and we teach them step by step through the Body Control programme, slowly increasing your strength, your flexibility and your body awareness. We will give you all the information you need to ‘customize’ your sessions, tailoring them to your individual needs, so that you get maximum results.

Joseph Pilates had one major principle that dominated his work ‘there must be commitment to the exercises, no excuses, they must be done regularly in order to realize results’.

I also personally have the same passion and for me Pilates is a lifestyle choice for my overall health and fitness routine. I look forward to meeting you and introducing you to the Body Control Pilates Method.