Joseph (Joe) Pilates’ passion and dedication to create the Pilates method stemmed from a strong personal experience in fitness. As a child, he was tormented for his small size. He took an interest in anatomy and began bodybuilding, wrestling, martial arts and yoga, to name a few.
Joe was a self-taught personal trainer whose lessons were never formally recorded, but passed on only by word-of-mouth from his students. Today, fitness professionals practice techniques that Joe used and we don’t even realize it. Here are just a few of the things Joe was said to practice that we still do today.
Post-workout cool down. Do you find it a little odd that there are so many photos of Joe standing outside in the wintertime in very little clothing? He believed in cooling the body down immediately after a workout and Joe’s first students say that he made them take a cold shower after every workout. Today, cold showers and ice baths are almost second nature for any athlete looking to rehabilitate their muscles and reduce pain after workouts.
Dry Skin Brushing. In Joe’s book, Return to Life Through Contrology, he describes that dry brushing stimulates circulation, cleans out pores and removes dead skin. While it might sound a bit painful, dry brushing is a very common, and gentle, service offered today in salons and spas. It is advertised as a way to detoxify the skin, reduce cellulite and achieve a fresh glowing appearance. Dry brushing is done by rubbing a stiff dry skin brush in slow, circular motions on the skin starting at the feet and working upward. For more information on dry brushing, read a How-To from About.com.
What fitness techniques have you noticed evolve over time? Is there a specific origin that you are curious about?