Pilates is an exercise method that targets the deep postural muscles, building strength from the inside out and helping to rebalance the body by bringing it into correct alignment. It helps to reshape your body, which will become longer, leaner and more toned. It will also improve your posture, achieving the perfect balance between strength and flexibility, and it is a great way to relieve unwanted stress and tension.

The slow controlled approach to the exercises means that you can focus on the detail of movement within your body giving long-term results. It is especially recommended by medical specialists for those with back problems and is ideal for both first-time exercisers and athletes looking to enhance their performance and avoid risk of injury.

Pilates takes its name from Joseph Pilates (1883-1967) who adamantly believed that his approach to total well-being should be embraced by the masses and certainly by health care professionals. In recent decades this has now become a reality as Pilates has become a mainstream fitness regime practised worldwide.

Born a sickly and frail child but having a great determination Joseph Pilates managed to rebuild his body strength to a fine physique. He experimented with many sports and fitness approaches including yoga, martial arts, gymnastics, skiing, weight training, dance, self-defence and circus training. By selecting the most effective exercises from his experiences he developed a system that he promoted as the perfect balance between strength and flexibility. This he called 'Contrology'.

Many different schools of thought have emerged from Joseph's original teachings. Today these are all referred to as Pilates and can be taught using either exercises performed on a mat (Matwork) or on specially designed pieces of equipment such as the Reformer, the Cadillac, the Chair and the Barrel.

Body Control Pilates was founded in 1995 with a vision to making the benefits of Pilates accessible to the average person. It has since become the leading trainer of Pilates teachers in the UK and is Europe's largest professional Pilates organisation.