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Theory of Pilates and Yoga Exercise in Healthy Females

Dr. Lei Si Man, Ms Lon Chou Nei

April 2012

Abstract: This study used quasi-experiment to examine how the 10 week workout of
Pilates and Yoga exercise impact health womens physical and mood. The 30
participants equally divided into Pilates Group (PG , Yoga Group (YP) and Control
Group(CP) . PG and YP attended 2 sessions of workouts every week and 60 minutes
for each session, CG did not involve in any workout during this study. Prior to the
intervention period, the t-test analysis, the muscular endurance (P<.05) and strength
(P<.01) in YG was significantly different; PG showed improvement on muscular
endurance (P<.01), but not body composition. The trunk flexibility of YP improved
more than PG (P<.01), but the muscular endurance of PG improved more than YG.
Pilates and Yoga exercises could improve several aspects of physical fitness, but there
was no evidence the impact of these two types of exercises in of improving body
composition. The mood was significantly in Pilates (P<.05).

Keys words: Pilates, Yoga, body composition of health female, mood


The principle of centering refers to the concept that all movements of the human
body emanate from the center or core or what Joseph Pilates called the powerhouse
of the body (Muscolino, Cipriani, 2004) The core muscle is divided in 2 parts, the
internal part is including transverse abdominis, lumbar multifidus, oblique internus
abdominus, quadratus lumborum ; the external part is including rectus abdominis,
oblique externus abdominis, oblique internus abdominis, erector spinae, gluteus
muscles (Sun, 2008;2006).

Yoga is a 5,000 year old tradition which is refers to link up mind, body and spirit
exercise. During the participant process the mediation and yoga poses practice,
performed on the physical, emotion, and mind focus. Most of Yoga postures ideas are
come from the animal behavior, required twisting torso and joints, through the
breathing, muscle contraction to isolate on each posture. In the modern days, most
people are manage on Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga (Gita, 2000)

Yoga exercise is not only improved mood and also improved physical, because when
the participant must force on the muscles and mind during the different Yoga
postures (2009)

In the Pilates and Yoga researches, found that the emotion and mood are significantly
positive improve in the mental disorder or hypochondria (Chen, Tseng, Lin, Fan, Lin,
& Li 2010; 2007), but for the health adult objects, it found different

Pilates and Yoga is significantly improve in the emotion and mood with a short period
intervention, the hypothesis of this study are that Pilates and Yoga are positive effect
on mood, body composition, the contraction and endurance ability of abdominal



The study used a quasi-experience untreated control group design with pretest and
post test. The 30 objects were randomly assigned to either the intervention groups
or control group. Before the intervention, all participants were examined to body
composition, trunk strength, abdominal endurance and questionnaires (POMS).
These variables were examined again 10 weeks after the intervention started.

Setting and Sample

The 30 women were randomly assigned to the Pilates Group (PG), Yoga Group (YG)
and Control Group (CG) equally. All samples aged average from 25 to 46 year, 90% of
participants were school teacher and without regular exercise habit. The 10 weeks
after, only 8 participants of PG and YG were completed the assignments.


The Pilates and Yoga exercise program were instructed by the same certificated
instructor; each session was 1 hour, 2 times per week for 10 weeks. In this study,
Pilates exercise was including 18 different movements; Yoga exercise was including
18 Hatha Yoga poses


The following main outcome measures were assessed at baseline. The measurement
procedure as following by the exercise intensity; height; BMI; body composition
(TANITA MC 180MA, Japan); muscle strength of upper body, upper body strength
(hand grip TKK5401, Japan); balance (one leg stand); trunk strength (Push up);

endurance of abdominal muscles (1 minute sit up); trunk flexibility (fingertip-toe);
mood index (POMS questionnaires).

Results and Discussion

The 10 week intervention exercises have significantly improved muscles strength and
flexibility, was congruent with previous studies . Pilates exercise is practice on the
core muscles (Sun, 2008), Yoga exercise is focus on the stable stretching and
strengthen. There are positive effects of the endurance of abdominal muscles, trunk
strength, flexibility with practicing Pilates and Yoga exercise.

Pilates and Yoga exercise are low impact exercise and practice on a mat; both are
emphasis co-ordinate with muscles and effective breath control. The different
between the 2 exercises, Pilates is mainly focus on the internal abdominal muscles,
Yoga is working on body and joints twist, therefore, Yoga exercise is improve trunk
strength and flexibility as well.

Basically Yoga is practice on effective breathing, stretching and meditation, people

learned that Yoga not only improved the physical fitness and also released living
stress (2010), less the depress symptom (Chen, 2010), improved mood (
2009), build up and improved self-confidence and life qualities (2010).
In this study, there were no significantly changed in Yoga participants, perhaps it
would be the different objects, measurable, practice process, small simples or the
short intervention period.


This study revealed positive outcomes for applying the 10 week intervention
exercises program with health women. The beneficial effects of improving trunk
strength, flexibility are applicable in Yoga exercise; the endurance of abdominal
muscles is applicable in Pilates exercise. The 2 exercises are not changed the variables
items: upper strength, balance, BMI and mood. Further studies are needed to extend
the number of sample, intervention period.


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