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The effect of Pilates method on elderly flexibility

Efeito do método Pilates na flexibilidade de idosos

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


Pilates as physical exercise practice brings countless benefits, such as improvement of motor aptitudes and skills.


To look into the effect of the Pilates method on the hip and shoulder girdle flexibility levels in the elderly.


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.


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).


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.

Aging; Flexibility; Motor activity

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