Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Michelle LaBrecque


Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena; Exercise Movement Techniques; Health Promotion


Introduction: Obesity continues to be a rising problem in the United States. Women typically are the majority of consumers in weight treatment programs. Due to conflicts with time and social roles, they struggle to remain committed to an exercise program. Most women enter into weight treatment programs not for health, but rather for appearance.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of cardiovascular function, flexibility, strength and circumferential measurements between mat Pilates and hydraulic circuit training over a six-week period. The benefits of these comparisons will help women find an effective and efficient fitness program. As the physical therapy field continues to advance into preventative healthcare, this study will provide information to physical therapists and consumers regarding well ness in women. This is important to aid in the prevention of possible injuries, co-morbidities and regain overall quality of life. These two programs were chosen for this study as they have increased in popularity in recent years.

Methods: Nine healthy female subjects over the age of 18 who were beginners in their respective exercise program were included in this study. Six subjects were in the hydraulic circuit training group and three were in the mat Pilates group. Areas being . assessed include vital signs, strength, flexibility and circumferential measurements. These assessments were completed within one week of initiation of chosen program (initial) and six weeks later (final).

Results: The results of this study were based on only seven of the subjects. This study found that there were no significant differences between groups from initial and final measurements. There was a significant difference in strength of left elbow flexion, flexibility and bust circumference in the hydraulic circuit training group from initial to final measurements. No statistical analysis was completed for the mat Pilates group as the sample size was too small. However, certain trends were noted.

Conclusion: The results from this study show there are no significant differences between the hydraulic circuit training and Pilates groups. However, trends were seen in each group that shows the benefits of physical activity. Future studies in this area would be beneficial especially with longer follow-up periods to see the effects of these two exercise programs.