The Pilates method was started by Joseph Pilates (born Germany 1880) in the early part of the twentieth century. He pioneered a series of 500-plus exercises to be performed on a mat and on specialised resistance equipment. He originally had the rehabilitation market in mind, but when he opened a studio in New York City in the 1920's, his method quickly became popular with the dance world for its ability to foster strength and endurance, whilst creating long, lean muscles.

Early devotees of Joseph Pilates included dance legends George Ballanchine, Hanya Holm and Martha Graham.

STOTT PILATES is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates. Co-founders Moira and Lindsay Merrithew, together with a team of physical therapists, sports medecine and fitness professionals, have spent more than a decade refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and equipment. This resulted in the inclusion of modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation, making it one of the safest and effective methods available. This clear and detailed approach forms the basis for STOTT PILATES training and certification programmes. It is used by rehab and prenatal clients, athletes, celebrities, and everyone in between.

STOTT PILATES incorporates modern exercise principles, including contemporary thinking about spinal rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. For example, some approaches may promote a flat back, whereas STOTT PILATES exercises are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine, and rebalance the muscles around the joints, placing more emphasis on muscular scapulation. There are, as well, more preparatory exercises and modifications to cater to many different body types and abilities, making it applicable to everyday life.

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