More balanced shots in basketball. Better jumping. Increased power. Decreased running times. These are just some of the benefits Pilates has brought college athletes. Once a niche exercise, Pilates has gone mainstream and is available at almost every gym. Athletes in numerous sports have discovered its training and rehabilitative powers. Among the younger, college-aged set, this total-body exercise can help increase strength and flexibility.
In a survey of 1,477 American College of Sports Medicine members, Pilates was ranked ninth on a list of the top 20 fitness trends for 2010. Several studies have examined the effects of Pilates on fitness.
Pilates and Cardiovascular Fitness
At the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Stefanie Spilde and John Porcari, PhD, studied 15 healthy women between the ages of 18 and 26 who self-identified as having intermediate Pilates experience. The women performed two 50-minute Pilates mat routines-one basic and one advanced-following Joseph Pilates' original sequencing method. During the exercises, testers measured their heart rates and oxygen consumption and subjects ranked their perceived efforts using the Borg scale.
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