Functional Biomechanical Analysis of the Pilates-Based Reformer during Demi-Plié Movements

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The Pilates-based reformer is used by dancers for training and for injury rehabilitation. Knee kinematics and applied forces during demi-plié in fifth and in first positions were analyzed while dancers performed the motions (a) standing, (b) on the reformer equipped with two springs, and (c) on the reformer equipped with four springs. The highest forces, normalized to body weight, were obtained for the standing demi-plié, while the largest knee flexion angles occurred on the reformer with four springs. Greater range of motion was achieved in first position than in fifth, and females exhibited greater extension and higher normalized forces than males, It was also noted that force/knee angle relationships for the standing demi-plié and for the reformer tests were quite different. Reformer forces were totally dependent on the knee angle, whereas the forces during the standing demi-plié depended on the acceleration of the dancer's center of gravity.

B.P. Self is with the Orthopedic Biomechanics Institute, 5848 South 300 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84107. A. Bagley was with the Orthopedic Biomechanics Institute at the time of the study and is now with the Shriner's Children's Hospital, 950 West Paris Rd., Greenville, SC 29605. T. Triplett and L. Pauios are with The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, 5848 South 300 East, Salt Lake City UT 84107.

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