Background: Pilates is a popular exercise approach among women. Still there is poor empirical quantitative evidence indicating a positive effect of Pilates exercises on body composition. The aim of our study is to determine the effects of Pilates exercises on body composition in sedentary overweight and obese women.
Methods: Thirty-seven women, aged between 30 to 50 (43.79±4.88) years, included the study. Subjects are randomly divided into Pilates group (N.=19) and control group (N.=18). Pilates exercises was given for 90 minutes, 3 times/week, for 8 week with a gradual strength increase of 11-17 in the Rating of Perceived Exercise. Control group did not participate in any physical activity program. Bioelectric Impedance Analysis was used for determine the body composition of participants. Weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), body fat mass, lean body mass, waist, abdomen and hip circumference were measured at pre- and post-training period.
Results: In Pilates group, weight, BMI, fat percentage, waist, abdomen and hip circumference decreased significantly after training (P<0.05) while no significant difference was observed in lean body mass (P>0.05). In control group, abdomen and hip circumference increased significantly (P<0.05) as the other parameters showed the tendency for an increase, but no significant difference (P<0.05).
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that 8 weeks Pilates exercises have positive effects on body composition in sedentary overweight and obese women. Pilates exercises can be applied for improving body composition.