Motor control exercises of the lumbar-pelvic region improve respiratory function in obese men. A pilot study

<p><b>Purpose:</b> Obese subjects have decreased pulmonary function. The hypothesis of our study was that poor coordination of the lumbar-pelvic musculature secondary to obesity may hinder the synergic activation of the respiratory muscles. The aim of the paper was to evaluate whether specific motor control exercises of the lumbar-pelvic musculature were able to improve respiratory function.</p> <p><b>Method:</b> Twenty obese male patients underwent a rehabilitation program including adapted physical activity and respiratory physiotherapy. Patients were randomly assigned to a Specific Motor Control Exercise Group (SG) and a Control Group (CG). SG followed a protocol according to the SMARTERehab concept aimed at improving posture, intra-abdominal pressure, rib cage mobility, and perception of correct muscle activation. CG performed an exercise training protocol to improve aerobic capacity and muscle strength.</p> <p><b>Result:</b> After intervention, both groups showed similar changes in body weight, fat, and fat-free mass. Respiratory function indexes improved in SG due to improved proprioception and coordination of the deep lumbar-pelvic muscles.</p> <p><b>Conclusion:</b> Our study provides preliminary evidence that breathing, postural control, and spinal stability are intertwined. Positive respiratory effects in obese men can be obtained by prescribing specific motor control exercises of the lumbar-pelvic muscles.</p> <p>Implications for rehabilitation</p><p>Obese subjects present with decreased pulmonary function and postural changes.</p><p>Poor coordination of the lumbar-pelvic muscles affects posture and the synergic activation of the respiratory muscles.</p><p>Specific motor control exercises of the lumbar-pelvic musculature can improve respiratory function.</p><p>Breathing and postural control are intertwined: positive respiratory effects can be obtained by enhancing motor control of the lumbar-pelvic muscles.</p><p></p> <p>Obese subjects present with decreased pulmonary function and postural changes.</p> <p>Poor coordination of the lumbar-pelvic muscles affects posture and the synergic activation of the respiratory muscles.</p> <p>Specific motor control exercises of the lumbar-pelvic musculature can improve respiratory function.</p> <p>Breathing and postural control are intertwined: positive respiratory effects can be obtained by enhancing motor control of the lumbar-pelvic muscles.</p>