Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

Journal of Women's Health Physical Therapy


Objectives: To quantify and determine the effects of Pilates on core endurance, hamstring flexibility, balance, body composition/mass and perceived stress level in healthy college age females.

Study Design: Randomized controlled trial design.

Background: Emerging research on the Pilates technique is inconclusive regarding benefits to core endurance, flexibility, balance, body mass, and perceived stress.

Methods and Measures: Female college students (n=57; 18-35 years old) were randomly assigned to a Pilates group, who exercised at home with a DVD, or a control group who did not engage in Pilates practice. Core endurance, hamstring flexibility, balance, body composition and stress measurements were taken at baseline and at 10 weeks.

Results: There was a statistically significant difference between groups for multidirectional standing reach test results, specifically reaching to the right and right hamstring flexibility.

Conclusion: Pilates practice resulted in gains in balance and hamstring flexibility among college-aged females. Limitations in this study including the unknown level of activity of the control group warrant further investigation. Additional research is needed to determine if Pilates has a significant effect on core endurance, body composition and perceived stress level.

Inclusive pages




Document Version



Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited. Article available for download is the authors' accepted manuscript; some changes may have occurred in the copy editing and layout process. The version of record is available online or in an academic library.

Permission documentation is on file.

Citation information: Betsy Donahoe-Fillmore, Mary Insana Fisher, and C. Jayne Brahler. “The Effects of Home-Based Pilates in Healthy College-Aged Women.” Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy 39(2), May/August 2015. Pp. 83-94. DOI: 10.1097/JWH.0000000000000031


American Physical Therapy Association, Section on Women's Health





Peer Reviewed



women, exercise, stress, fitness