Contrology: What Does It Mean?


Contrology, most commonly known as Pilates, is the popular exercise program created by Joseph Pilates. We found that Contrology is a great, safe, and effective workout for all ages and populations. Keep reading to learn more. 

What is Contrology?

Contrology is the term Joseph Pilates used to originally call what we know as Pilates today. He first wrote about it in his book “Return To Life” and claimed that Contrology, “Develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit. “

Joseph Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in a small town in Germany and grew up as a sick child. He was gifted with anatomy books and had a deep curiosity for the human body, and dedicated his life to improving his physical strength and overall health in his body and later for others. He had a deep curiosity for many things in life and was a circus performer, boxer, and gymnast as well! During World War I, he was forced into an internment camp and expanded his studies of yoga, physical fitness, and animal-like movement. Through his studies, he also started rehabbing soldiers from the world, and this is ultimately how he created the machines we see in the Pilates world today, such as the Tower and the Chair. This was equipment he made from hospital beds as a way to move people after surgery and help restore them to optimal health and recovery. His belief is that the physical body receives the best weight training from weight resistance, such as springs. He used the springs from the hospital beds to create his equipment and model the exercises around it. As he refined his teaching and started to develop his concepts, he called his program Contrology and defined it as a program that unifies the body, mind, and spirit. Joseph Pilates later moved to New York City with his partner Clara to open his first studio above the New York City Ballet. The ballerinas would become the inspiration and a critical part of his finishing the program and its evolution over the years. 

How Does It Work? 

Contrology is a movement program with over 500 exercises, and this is not counting variations and modifications! It has many components and is stretched out over several pieces of equipment. The most widely used are a mat, reformer, tower, chair, and ladder barrel. Similar exercises will be done on all equipment, but each will feel very different with how the equipment is made and used. Contrology works the entire body maximizing the skills of your mind, body, and spirit. This is because it is believed that the mind is used to perform with control, purpose, and precisely. Working with these themes creates body and self-awareness needed in our everyday life and movement patterns. This also helps restore the body’s natural balance and alignment. So often, because of work or sedentary patterns, we get stuck in faulty, unbalanced body mechanics and postures. Some muscles are overworked and too tight, while others are not working at all, which leads to injury. With the exercises in Contrology, the entire body is addressed, and every single muscle is worked to improve these imbalances. 

Who Can Do It

The beauty of Contrology is that anyone can do it! It truly is for anyone, regardless of age, injuries, and physical shape. This is because Contrology can be specifically tailored to each individual and easily modified for special conditions or injuries. There are many benefits that will also support almost everyone on the planet. These benefits range from better posture and balance, core strength, injury prevention, increased flexibility, and proper body alignment. All of these benefits can have a great impact on other areas of your life as well, such as mindfulness practice and overall aging. 

We would strongly consider you to try and explore Contrology. It’s a great exercise program that all ages and backgrounds can enjoy with a wide variety of benefits. 

Leave a comment