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Int Urogynecol J. 2015 Aug;26(8):1123-30. doi: 10.1007/s00192-015-2638-4. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

Intra-abdominal pressure during Pilates: unlikely to cause pelvic floor harm.

Author information

1
Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, 36 S. Wasatch Drive, Room 4202, Salt Lake City, UT, 84112, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS:

The objective was to describe the intra-abdominal pressures (IAP) generated during Pilates Mat and Reformer activities, and determine whether these activities generate IAP above a sit-to-stand threshold.

METHODS:

Twenty healthy women with no symptomatic vaginal bulge, median age 43 (range 22-59 years), completed Pilates Mat and Reformer exercise routines each consisting of 11 exercises. IAP was collected by an intra-vaginal pressure transducer, transmitted wirelessly to a base station, and analyzed for maximal and area under the curve (AUC) IAP.

RESULTS:

There were no statistically significant differences in the mean maximal IAP between sit-to-stand and any of the Mat or Reformer exercises in the study population. Six to twenty-five percent of participants exceeded their individual mean maximal IAP sit-to-stand thresholds for 10 of the 22 exercises. When measuring AUC from 0 cm H2O, half the exercises exceeded the mean AUC of sit-to-stand, but only Pilates Reformer and Mat roll-ups exceeded the mean AUC of sit-to-stand when calculated from a threshold of 40 cm H2O (consistent with, for example, walking).

CONCLUSION:

Our results support recommending this series of introductory Pilates exercises, including five Mat exercises and six Reformer exercises to women desiring a low IAP exercise routine. More research is needed to determine the long-term effects of Pilates exercise on post-surgical exercise rehabilitation and pelvic floor health.

PMID:
25672647
PMCID:
PMC4506704
DOI:
10.1007/s00192-015-2638-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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