Background: Despite of the widepread use of Pilates in Physical Therapy, there are few studies that have assessed the muscle electrical activation
during Pilates exercises. Objective: Verify the influence of different spring adjustments and individual positions on the electrical activation of
multifidus (MU) and oblique external (OE) muscles during hip flexion-extension (HFE) exercise on the Cadillac. Methods: Eight women practicing
Pilates exercises for at least six months performed 10 repetitions of HFE in the following situations: Lower Spring, spring fixed at 30 cm in relation
to level which the individuals were positioned. Higher Spring, spring fixed at 90 cm in relation to level which the individuals were positioned. Near
Position, distance of 10 cm from the fixed spring. Distant Position, distance of 30 cm from the fixed spring. Kinematic and eletromyographic
data (EMG) were collected simultaneously and the MU and OE muscles were monitored. Each movement of HFE was splitted in two phases
(extension and flexion). The EMG signal was calculated and normalized using the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). The Wilcoxon test was
used to investigate differences between the situations (p≤0.05). Results: MU muscle presented muscle activation values ranging from 10 to 20 %
MVC, and the highest muscle activation in the lower spring and in the near position. OE muscles presented muscle activation values ranging
from 20 to 45% MVC, and the highest values in the higher spring and in the distant position. Conclusion: MU and OE muscles presented a distinct
electrical activation during different available spring adjustments and individual positions.
Keywords: Posture; pilates; biomechanics; eletromyography; rehabilitation; low back pain.