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Cardiovasc Ther. 2012 Dec;30(6):351-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5922.2011.00285.x. Epub 2011 Jul 10.

Pilates in heart failure patients: a randomized controlled pilot trial.

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Heart Institute do Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, (InCor-HCFMUSP).



Conventional cardiac rehabilitation program consist of 15 min of warm-up, 30 min of aerobic exercise and followed by 15 min calisthenics exercise. The Pilates method has been increasingly applied for its therapeutic benefits, however little scientific evidence supports or rebukes its use as a treatment in patients with heart failure (HF).


Investigate the effects of Pilates on exercise capacity variables in HF.


Sixteen pts with HF, left ventricular ejection fraction 27 ± 14%, NYHA class I-II were randomly assigned to conventional cardiac rehabilitation program (n = 8) or mat Pilates training (n = 8) for 16 weeks of 30 min of aerobic exercise followed by 20 min of the specific program.


At 16 weeks, pts in the mat Pilates group and conventional group showed significantly increase on exercise time 11.9 ± 2.5 to 17.8 ± 4 and 11.7 ± 3.9 to 14.2 ± 4 min, respectively. However, only the Pilates group increased significantly the ventilation (from 56 ± 20 to 69 ± 17 L/min, P = 0.02), peak VO(2) (from 20.9 ± 6 to 24.8 ± 6 mL/kg/min, P = 0.01), and O(2) pulse (from 11.9 ± 2 to 13.8 ± 3 mL/bpm, P = 0.003). The Pilates group showed significantly increase in peak VO(2) when compared with conventional group (24.8 ± 6 vs. 18.3 ± 4, P = 0.02).


The result suggests that the Pilates method may be a beneficial adjunctive treatment that enhances functional capacity in patients with HF who are already receiving standard medical therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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