1. Spilde, Stefanie A. MS

Article Content


Pilates and yoga gained in popularity throughout the 1990's and have continued to attract new participants. While neither discipline has traditionally been defined as aerobic, many make claims that they are. To date, few studies have been completed that have investigated the aerobic component of each discipline.



This study was designed to study whether or not Pilates or yoga provide an adequate stimulus for aerobic conditioning, defined by ACSM as 55-90% of HRmax or 45-85% of VO2max.



Volunteer subjects (age 18-26) (n = 30) were assigned to one of the disciplines, based on experience. Each subject performed a maximal treadmill test using the Balke protocol and then completed two taped 50-minute sessions in their discipline at two different levels of intensity.



During the Pilates sessions, the subjects worked at an average of 54 +/- 3.6% of HRmax and 28 +/- 4.3% of VO2max during a beginner workout and at an average of 62 +/- 4.0% HRmax and 43 +/- 5.3% VO2max during an advanced workout. During the yoga sessions, the average percent of HRmax during Hatha yoga was 48 +/- 3.4 and 24 +/- 4.1% of VO2max, and during power yoga, subjects averaged 62 +/- 5.4% of HRmax and 46 +/- 4.8% of VO2max.



Based on the results of this study, both yoga and Pilates provide a low to moderate intensity aerobic workout. When practiced at a high skill level, both can become intense enough to elicit moderate improvements in aerobic capacity.