A study conducted by O. Çakmakçi in Konya, Turkey looked at the effects of Pilates on body mass, waist to hip ratio and waist circumference on 58 sedentary, obese women. The women were randomly divided into two groups. Group 1 undertook Pilates training (34 participants), and a control group (27 participants).
The women in Group 1 were assigned to a Pilates training program, one hour per day, four days per week, for the eight week period. The 27 women in the control group did not participate in the training.
All women had their body-mass index (BMI), waist circumference, waist-hip ratio, 4-site skinfold thickness (Biceps, Triceps, Supscapula and Iliac), fat percentage, resting metabolic rate, lean body mass and flexibility assessed before and after the Pilates training program.
The outcome indicates that eight weeks of Pilates training was found to be effective on weight, BMI, lean body mass, waist-hip ratio, biceps, triceps, fat percentage, basal metabolic rate, and flexibility. The control group showed no significant differences in the same measures post-intervention.
Overall, there was a positive effect of modern Pilates mat and ball exercises in reducing obesity, body composition parameters and flexibility at sedentary obese women.
Source: Çakmakçi, O. (2011). The effect of 8 week pilates exercise on body composition in obese women. Collegium Antropologicum, Vol 35(4), pp. 1045-1050.