The Pilates Method and Cardiorespiratory Adaptation to Training

Res Sports Med. Jul-Sep 2016;24(3):281-6. doi: 10.1080/15438627.2016.1202829. Epub 2016 Jun 30.


Although all authors report beneficial health changes following training based on the Pilates method, no explicit analysis has been performed of its cardiorespiratory effects. The objective of this study was to evaluate possible changes in cardiorespiratory parameters with the Pilates method. A total of 45 university students aged 18-35 years (77.8% female and 22.2% male), who did not routinely practice physical exercise or sports, volunteered for the study and signed informed consent. The Pilates training was conducted over 10 weeks, with three 1-hour sessions per week. Physiological cardiorespiratory responses were assessed using a MasterScreen CPX apparatus. After the 10-week training, statistically significant improvements were observed in mean heart rate (135.4-124.2 beats/min), respiratory exchange ratio (1.1-0.9) and oxygen equivalent (30.7-27.6) values, among other spirometric parameters, in submaximal aerobic testing. These findings indicate that practice of the Pilates method has a positive influence on cardiorespiratory parameters in healthy adults who do not routinely practice physical exercise activities.

Keywords: Pilates; health; heart rate; spirometric parameters.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Exercise Movement Techniques*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Conditioning, Human / physiology*
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange
  • Spirometry
  • Young Adult