Mat Pilates improve cardiovascular health in young, obese women

The first study to find that mat Pilates routines significantly improves blood pressure in young, obese women.


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Mat Pilates training has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. It has become one of the most widely known wellness routines that emphasize the core strength, flexibility, body posture, and controlled breathing.

Now, a study suggests that the program also benefits young obese women, a population that is at risk for hypertension and early vascular complications. It improves blood pressure, cardiovascular health for young obese women.

Scientists studied young obese women (age 19-27) with elevated blood pressure and a body mass index between 30-40kg/m2 through 12 weeks of mat Pilates. There were three one-hour training sessions per week, which were divided into the following stages: initial warm-up and stretch (10min), general mat Pilates exercises (40 min), and a cool down (10 min). The training increased over the 12 weeks, with the repetition of each exercise steadily increasing.

Scientists found that the mat Pilates routines significantly reduced arterial stiffness and blood pressure, including central (aortic) pressure.

Scientists noted, “We hypothesized that Mat Pilates might decrease the risk of hypertension in young obese women. Our findings provide evidence that Mat Pilates benefit cardiovascular health by decreasing blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and body fatness in young obese women with elevated blood pressure. Because adherence to traditional exercise (both aerobic and resistance) is low in obese individuals, Mat Pilates Training might prove an effective exercise alternative for the prevention of hypertension and cardiovascular events in young obese adults.”

Journal Reference:
  1. The effects of mat Pilates training on vascular function and body fatness in obese young women with elevated blood pressure. DOI: 10.1093/ajh/hpaa026


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