Physiotherapy and Pilates to improve pulmonary function

Pilates is a total body exercise method that is highly effective for strengthening and lengthening the entire body.


Pilates is most commonly known to improve core strengthening , posture and range of motion .

Pilates is highly effective to improve respiratory function in those suffering from respiratory disease .

The Benefits of Pilates is –

  • Reduced stress.
  • Lowered blood pressure.
  • Improved focus.
  • Activation of  specific muscles.
  • Improved circulation & respiration.
  • Improving respiratory muscles and lung volume .
  • Lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease .
  • Improves thoraco abdominal mobility.
  • Improves circulation to deliver oxygenated blood more efficiently.


The Pilates breathing method –

  •  Lateral breathing :

The main goal for Pilates breathing is to breathe deeply expanding the ribcage without raising the abdominal muscles training.

Proper breathing is inhaling through the nose and exhaling forcefully through the mouth. When one inhales, the ribcage expands out to the sides using the intercostal muscles, and then when exhaling the ribcage knits together like one is being sinched in a corset.

  • Set breathing pattern :

Set breathing patterns are coordinated with each exercise or movement. Inhalation occurs during one phase of a specific movement/ exercise, and exhalation during another phase of the movement.

  • Active breathing:

Active breathing aims to consciously activate respiratory muscles to enable the lungs to expand and transport oxygen. This method of breathing assists contraction or activation of certain targeted muscles. Inhalation occurs through the nose and exhalation through the mouth with pursed lips.


Pilates can improve pulmonary function in following ways :

  •  Core strengthening:

Pilates focuses on strengthening the core muscles, including those around the abdomen and lower back. A strong core provides support for the diaphragm and helps maintain optimal posture for breathing.

  • Strengthens respiratory muscles:

Pilates can significantly improve maximal inspiratory – and maximum expiratory pressures. Pilates emphasizes diaphragmatic breathing, enhancing the function of the primary respiratory muscle responsible for efficient inhalation.

  • Rib cage expansion:

Pilates exercises often involve lateral and rotational movements, promoting increased mobility in the ribcage. This aids in expanding the lungs and improving respiratory capacity.

  • Cardiovascular fitness :

Regular Pilates practice contributes to overall cardiovascular fitness. Improved cardiovascular health supports efficient oxygen transport and utilization, benefiting respiratory function.

  • Posture alignment:

Pilates promotes proper spinal alignment and posture, reducing strain on respiratory muscles. Improved posture allows for better lung expansion and more efficient breathing.

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