Comparison between static stretching and the Pilates method on the flexibility of older women

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2016 Oct;20(4):800-806. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2016.01.008. Epub 2016 Feb 3.


Introduction: Flexibility decreases with advancing age and some forms of exercise, such as static stretching and Pilates, can contribute to the improvement of this physical ability.

Objective: To compare the effects of static stretching and Pilates on the flexibility of healthy older women, over the age of 60 years.

Method: Thirty-two volunteers were randomized into two groups (Static stretching or Pilates) to perform exercises for 60 min, twice a week, for three months. Evaluations to analyze the movements of the trunk (flexion and extension), hip flexion and plantar and dorsiflexion of the ankle were performed before and after the intervention, using a fleximeter.

Results: The static stretching exercises improved the trunk flexion and hip flexion movements, while the Pilates improved all evaluated movements. However, over time, the groups presented differences only for the trunk extension movement.

Conclusion: For some body segments, Pilates may be more effective for improving flexibility in older women compared to static stretching.

Keywords: Age; Articular; Exercise; Pilates; Range of motion; Static stretching.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Exercise Movement Techniques / methods*
  • Female
  • Foot / physiology
  • Hip Joint / physiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises / methods*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*