Pilates Improves Fitness and Trains Core Muscles
Regular Pilates mat classes can significantly improve body composition, flexibility and core musculature endurance, according to results from two small Pilates studies presented at the 2006 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, held in Denver, Colorado.
In one study, from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, researchers followed 22 participants with no prior Pilates training: Nine subjects enrolled in a Pilates mat group, and 13 functioned as a control group. Pre- and posttest measurements included body fat, upper- and lower-body flexibility, and abdominal and low-back muscular endurance. The Pilates group took 1-hour traditional mat classes three times per week; participants were required to attend at least 85% of all classes. The control group agreed to continue their normal activity and eating practices. After 8 weeks, participants in the Pilates mat group—but not the control group—had significantly improved in all parameters except for body weight and hip and thigh circumferences, where there were no significant changes.
Another study, performed at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, compared deep abdominal muscle activation in subjects with and without Pilates training. Researchers measured the activation of the transversus abdominis (TA) muscle in 12 subjects with at least 6 months of Pilates training and in 46 healthy and fit subjects with no Pilates experience. In Pilates-trained participants, abdominal circumference was larger but TA activation was also greater. Study authors concluded that Pilates training improves conditioning of core muscles.
Both studies appeared in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2006; 38 [5, Suppl.], S279–80).
For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
© 2006 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
|Extreme Interval Training
In this course you'll learn goal-focused intervals and over 50 dynamic exercises and drills to create extensive and intensive training formats.
|Cut to the Core
This is a raw, unedited video filmed live at the 2009 IDEA World Fitness Convention™. Cut to the Core is packed full of core-focused exercises that aim to improve the way you look, feel and live.
|September 2011 IDEA Fitness Journal Quiz 4: Plyometric Training
This continuing education quiz is an in-depth look at plyometric training. Plyometric exercises—jumping, bounding, hopping, arm pushing, and catching and throwing weighted objects such as machine balls—are movements that involve rapid eccentric and concentric muscle actions.