Born in Germany in 1883, Joseph Pilates was an extremely sickly child, struggling, among other things, with asthma and rickets. In his struggle to improve his health, he turned to physical exercise, studying known methods. He was inspired by the classical Greek ideal of a human with a balanced body, mind, and spirit. On the basis of the knowledge he gained, he created and started to develop his own system of exercises (Contrology), design and create the first machines. After emigrating to the USA, together with his wife Clara, he created a studio in New York, which gained recognition especially among dancers. Over time, the popularity of his original method crossed not only the borders of New York, but also the USA. Nowadays, it is one of the most important systems of Body & Mind exercises used by millions of people all over the world.
In 1976, Ken Endelman, later founder of Balanced Body, was commissioned to create an improved version of the Pilates exercise machine, the reformer. In spite of the fact that he had never heard of the machine before, he accepted the challenge. He analysed the original designs of Joseph Pilates, how the existing machines worked, consulted with Pilates instructors, and, as a result, designed and created an upgraded version of the machine that provided quieter and smoother operation, was easier to use and safer for users. That was the first step towards Ken’s new career.
Balanced Body is the first company in the world that has significantly modernised the machines designed by Joseph Pilates, using engineering advances, modern materials, and technologies as well as contemporary understanding of human biomechanics. Ken is the author of hundreds of improvements to Pilates machines, many of which became models for other manufacturers, and 30 of which are patent protected.
When making improved equipment, Ken Endelman cooperated with the most influential people in the Pilates world, including First Generation Pilates Teachers (direct students of Joseph Pilates), i.e., Ron Fletcher, Eve Gentry, Carola Trier, Kathy Grant, or Jay Grimes, with whom Balanced Body has created the Contrology reformer faithful to the original design.
For five decades Ken Endelman and Balanced Body have been connected with the international Pilates community and engaged in promoting its values and cooperation with leading trainers of both classic and modern Pilates.
Balanced Body is guided by the highest standards also within ecology and sustainable production, constantly increasing is efforts to run its business in an environmentally friendly manner. Therefore, the wood used for making machines comes entirely from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified suppliers who obtain it only from sustainably managed forests in North America. All the packaging and containers can be recycled, and the energy-saving production plant each day produces green energy thanks to 1,000 solar panels.