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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2016 Oct;56(10):1139-1146. Epub 2015 Oct 16.

Can a pilates exercise program be effective on balance, flexibility and muscle endurance? A randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Ufuk University, Ankara, Turkey -



This randomized controlled study aims to determine the effect of pilates mat exercises on dynamic and static balance, hamstring flexibility, abdominal muscle activity and endurance in healthy adults.


Female healthy volunteer university students randomly assigned into two groups. Group 1 followed a pilates program for an hour two times a week. Group 2 continued daily activities as control group. Dynamic and static balance were evaluated by Sport Kinesthetic Ability Trainer (KAT) 4000 device. Hamstring flexibility and abdominal endurance were determined by sit-and-reach test, curl-up test respectively. Pressure biofeedback unit (PBU) was used to measure transversus abdominis and lumbar muscle activity. The physical activity of the participants was followed by International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form.


Twenty-three subjects in pilates group and 24 control subjects completed the study. In pilates group, statistical significant improvements were observed in curl-up, sit-and-reach test, PBU scores at sixth week (P<0.001), and KAT static and dynamic balance scores (P<0.001), waist circumference (P=0.007) at eighth week. In the comparison between two groups, there were significant improvements in pilates group for sit-and-reach test (P=0.01) and PBU scores (P<0.001) at sixth week, additionally curl-up and static KAT scores progressed in eighth week (P<0.001). No correlation was found between flexibility, endurance, trunk muscle activity and balance parameters.


An eight-week pilates training program has been found to have beneficial effect on static balance, flexibility, abdominal muscle endurance, abdominal and lumbar muscle activity. These parameters have no effect on balance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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