The effect of Pilates method on elderly flexibility

Adriana Coutinho de Azevedo Guimarães, Sabrina Fernandes de Azevedo, Joseani Paulini Neves Simas, Zenite Machado, Vanessa Terezinha Ferrari Jonck


Introduction: Pilates as physical exercise practice brings countless benefits, such as improvement of motor aptitudes and skills. Objective: To look into the effect of the Pilates method on the hip and shoulder girdle flexibility levels in the elderly. Methods: Experimental study composed of 30 elderly subjects of the control group and 30 of the Pilates group within a 12 week training time. A form was used to characterize the sample and to assess hip flexibility and shoulder girdle. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used, under a significance level of p < 0.05. Results: On hip flexibility, the 30 elderly individuals from the control group remained under normal and inferior classification, not presenting any differences between the variables (p = 0.180) from the pretest to the retest. In the intervention group, 60% of the elderly subjects were assessed as normal. In the retest, such percentage increased to 66.7%. In the pretest, 10% of the elderly subjects were given the superior classification, and in the retest, it increased to 33%, not presenting significance between the variables (p = 0.180). On shoulder flexibility in the intervention group, 63% of the elderly subjects were graded as normal, and 17% as superior. In the shoulder retest the number of elderly individuals decreased to 47% in the normal classification, and increased to 33% in the superior classification, presenting a significant difference (p = 0.001). Conclusion: The elderly subjects who did not take part into the Pilates method presented a lower flexibility degree, considering that, the latter reduces in aging. As a preventive way of improving such limitation, the practice of the Pilates method is suggested.

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