The influence of inspiratory muscle training combined with the Pilates method on lung function in elderly women: A randomized controlled trial

Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2018;73:e356. doi: 10.6061/clinics/2018/e356. Epub 2018 Jun 18.


Objective: Aging is progressive, and its effects on the respiratory system include changes in the composition of the connective tissues of the lung that influence thoracic and lung compliance. The Powerbreathe® K5 is a device used for inspiratory muscle training with resistance adapted to the level of the inspiratory muscles to be trained. The Pilates method promotes muscle rebalancing exercises that emphasize the powerhouse. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of inspiratory muscle training combined with the Pilates method on lung function in elderly women.

Methods: The participants were aged sixty years or older, were active women with no recent fractures, and were not gait device users. They were randomly divided into a Pilates with inspiratory training group (n=11), a Pilates group (n=11) and a control group (n=9). Spirometry, manovacuometry, a six-minute walk test, an abdominal curl-up test, and pulmonary variables were assessed before and after twenty intervention sessions.

Results: The intervention led to an increase in maximal inspiratory muscle strength and pressure and power pulmonary variables (p<0.0001), maximal expiratory muscle strength (p<0.0014), six-minute walk test performance (p<0.01), and abdominal curl-up test performance (p<0.00001). The control group showed no differences in the analyzed variables (p>0.05).

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest inspiratory muscle training associated with the Pilates method provides an improvement in the lung function and physical conditioning of elderly patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breathing Exercises / methods*
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Movement Techniques / methods*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Healthy Aging / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Maximal Respiratory Pressures
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology*
  • Vital Capacity / physiology
  • Walk Test