Gianpiero Greco*, Antonino Patti**, Stefania Cataldi*, Angelo Iovane**, Giuseppe Messina**, Francesco Fischetti*
*Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neuroscience and Sense Organs, School of Medicine, University of Study of Bari, Italy - **Department of Psychology, Educational Science and Human Movement, University of Palermo, Italy
Purpose: Volleyball is one of the world's most popular sports and many studies have been conducted in an attempt to understand the better method of training required to develop fitness performance by volleyball players. Among these, only a few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of Pilates training on the physical fitness of the volleyballers. Therefore, this randomized controlled study aimed to compare the effects of an eight-week in-season Pilates training program on some physical fitness components in young female volleyball players.
Methods: 20 players (14-16 years) were randomly assigned to an 8-week experimental group (n = 10) that performed Pilates mat exercises (~30 min., twice a week) in association to volleyball team training or a control group (n = 10) that performed regular volleyball training (3 sessions a week, ~2 h·session-1). At baseline and after training all participants were tested on the sit and reach and vertical jump.
Results: A significant ‘Time x Group’ interaction was found for the sit and reach test only and the experimental group showed significant improvement than control (p < 0.0001; +3.8 cm; d = 0.38). No significant interaction effects were detected both for the jump height and power calculated during the squat jump and countermovement jump testing.
Conclusions: Results suggest that an 8-week Pilates mat exercises program could be capable of producing a statistically significant increase in hamstring flexibility but it is not enough to cause significant changes in lower limb explosive strength in young female volleyball players.
ventilator-associated pneumonia, pathogen distribution, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio.