To quantify and determine the effects of Pilates on core endurance, hamstring flexibility, balance, body composition/mass, and perceived stress level in healthy college-aged women.
Randomized controlled trial design.
Emerging research on the Pilates technique is inconclusive regarding benefits to core endurance, flexibility, balance, body mass, and perceived stress.
Methods and Measures:
Female college students (n = 57; 18-35 years old) were randomly assigned to a Pilates group, who exercised at home with a DVD, or a control group who did not engage in Pilates practice. Core endurance, hamstring flexibility, balance, body composition, and stress measurements were taken at baseline and at 10 weeks.
There was a statistically significant difference between groups for multidirectional standing reach test results, specifically reaching to the right, and right hamstring flexibility.
Pilates practice resulted in gains in balance and hamstring flexibility among college-aged women. Limitations in this study, including the unknown level of activity of the control group, warrant further investigation. Additional research is needed to determine whether Pilates has a significant effect on core endurance, body composition, and perceived stress level.