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The Effect of Pilates Method in Scholar’s Trunk Strength and Hamstring Flexibility: Gender Differences

Authors: Noelia González-Gálvez, María Carrasco Poyatos, Pablo Jorge Marcos Pardo, Yuri Feito


Musculoskeletal injuries in school children could be reduced improving trunk strength and hamstring flexibility. Low levels of trunk muscle strength and hamstring flexibility may result in acute and musculoskeletal chronic diseases. The Pilates Method can be appropriate to improve these physical condition attributes and has been rarely employed by this social group. On the other hand, it has been shown that trunk strength and flexibility are different between genders, but there is no evidence about the effect of exercise programs designed to improve both items in school children. Therefore the objective of this study was to measure the effect of a six-week Pilates-based exercise program in 14 year old school children trunk strength and hamstring flexibility, establishing differences in gender. The sample was composed of 57 students divided into experimental group (EG; n=30) and control group (CG; n=27). Bench Trunk Curl test (BTC), Sörensen test and Toe-touch test (TT) were used to measure dynamic muscular resistance in trunk flexion, isometric strength in trunk extension and hamstring flexibility, respectively. EG utilized the Pilates exercise program during six-weeks (2 days/week, 55minutes/session). After this period of training, EG improved trunk strength and hamstring flexibility significantly but there were no significant differences within CG. Although boys were better in BTC test and girls were better in TT test, there were no significant differences between them.

Keywords: Intervention, Teens, School, physical performance, abdominal, trunk muscular resistance, back

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