This study was performed to assess and compare the effects of Pilates exercise on flexibility and lumbo-pelvic movement control between the Pilates training and control groups.
A randomized single-blinded controlled design was utilized in the study. Forty healthy male and female volunteers (mean age 31.65±6.21 years) were randomly divided into Pilates-based training (20 subjects) and the control groups (20 subjects). The Pilates group attended 45-minute training sessions, 2 times per week, for a period of 8 weeks. Flexibility and lumbo-pelvic stability tests were determined as outcome measures using a standard “sit and reach test” and “pressure biofeedback” respectively at 0, 4 and 8 weeks of the study.
The results showed that the Pilates training group improved flexibility significantly (P<0.001) during time intervals. This effect was also significantly greater than the control group for both 4 weeks and 8 weeks of the training period (P<0.001). There were 65% and 85% of the subjects from Pilates group passing the lumbo-pelvic stability test at 4 and 8 weeks of training periods respectively. No subjects from the control group passed the test at any stages.
Pilates can be used as an adjunctive exercise program to improve flexibility, enhance control-mobility of trunk and pelvic segments. It may also prevent and attenuate the predisposition to axial musculoskeletal injury.
Keywords: Pilates Training, Pilates-Based Exercises, Flexibility, Lumbo-pelvic stability, Exercise