Your Revolutionary New Year

New year, new you, new exercise routine! In The Pilates Effect: Heroes Behind the Revolution, authors Sarah Holmes and Stacey Redfield demystify the origins of the ever-so-popular core system exercise movement that took America by storm: Pilates.

From its early days of utilizing what looks a little like medieval torture devices, Pilates has grown to be a popular method for strengthening the core, improving posture, and recovering from or preventing further injuries and pain. Founder Joseph Pilates created the regimen with hopes of rehabilitating dancers who had been injured or who faced the challenges of aging. Despite being praised for being "fifty years ahead of [his] time," Joseph and his wife, Clara, faced many problems with their business, such as finance and health issues. However, a small group of Joseph's followers continued to help spread the practice they so firmly believed in, and the exercise system took off.

The Pilates Effect explores the fascinating history of the workout regimen we know and love today and showcases the history through inspiring and interesting images. Browse a few of the pictures from The Pilates Effect below for inspiration to pursue a new year of exercise and wellness!

Photo 1 of 5: Pilates's gym, ca. 1940s. Courtesy of Irene Zelonka.

Photo 2 of 5: Eve Gentry dancing in Antenna bird, 1956. © Core Dynamics. 

Photo 3 of 5: Carola Trier demonstrating Pilates exercises on a floor version of the Reformer. Courtesy of Jillian Hessel. 

Photo 4 of 5: Working out in Carola's studio, ca. 1950-60, New York. Courtesy of Jillian Hessel.

Photo 5 of 5: "Working out — Dulce Jordan works out on body-shaping equipment as instructor Ron Fletcher paces her movements in the background of the Body Contrology studio," staff photo July 28, 1971. Harry Chase, Los Angeles staff. Copyright © 1971, 1977. Los Angeles Times. Used with permission.