What Is Wall Pilates?

One of the great benefits of Pilates is that you don’t necessarily need a Reformer or Wunda Chair or other bulky equipment to reap the benefits of Pilates practice.

Wall Pilates is a great way to get moving by using only a Mat and a wall nearby. In this variation of traditional Pilates, you press up against a wall (with your feet, arms, back, or side) to practice squats, planks, etc. using the wall and your body weight to add resistance against gravity.

With slow, controlled movements, Wall Pilates can help you improve your flexibility and also increase balance and stability.

The Benefits of Wall Pilates

Easy Access

First and foremost, this workout is available to anyone who has a wall and a mat, with no need for any specialized pilates equipment. This also makes it easier for you to practice in the privacy of your home if you prefer not to go to a studio or while you are traveling and away from home.

The Mind-Body Connection

With this exercise, there is also a great mind-body connection as it improves kinesthesia (the ability to sense where your body is and how it is moving in space). With a good Wall Pilates exercise routine, you will also improve your mobility and flexibility by lengthening your muscles and improving your range of motion. Being mindful in exercise will help get you more in tune with your body.

Strength and Coordination

Many athletes love Pilates because of the impact it can have on coordination and strength. Whether you're a golfer or like to play tennis over the weekend, Wall Pilates will make you stronger, longer, and able to perform more accurate, balanced movements in your sport.

Health Benefits

One of the big reasons people start Pilates for the first time is because they need exercises that can help with a health issue such as Osteoporosis or arthritis. This exercise is known for increasing bone density. Wall Pilates is a gentle exercise that comes with a very low injury risk and a regular routine will help build bone mass.

Wall Pilates is an excellent way to stretch your spine and help with better spinal alignment. The workout also puts a lot of focus on the abs, the glutes, and the back muscles, improving your core muscles and helping to reduce unhealthy curvature of the spine. This will ultimately help with better posture as you achieve spinal alignment and get stronger in your core, relieving back aches and stiffness.

Pregnant women can benefit from this type of exercise as it is a great way to not only adjust as you go through the different stages of your pregnancy, but it will also help prepare your body for the delivery. Often coupled with breathing exercises, Wall Pilates will relieve stress and help you relax. Depending on how you are doing in your pregnancy, Pilates exercises are very adaptable and you can adjust the intensity to match your needs.

Wall Pilates can also help with menstrual cramps as it lengthens and opens the lower back muscles and pelvis, which can help with pain relief. Improving circulation in the pelvic floor will also reduce inflammation. A stronger pelvic floor can also boost your love life as it helps with better bladder control and increased sexual satisfaction.

Wall Pilates and Pilates in general can help you get a better night's sleep. A combination of the stress relief provided by this workout and deep breathing exercises will improve how much and how well you sleep.

One of the greatest benefits of Wall Pilates is that it gives you instant feedback in a different way than you get on a Mat. You may find some exercises that seem "simple" to be more challenging due to the nature of being upright. The wall is a great support for your back, hips, and shoulders.

Who is Wall Pilates Good for?

  • If you are injured, pregnant, or a senior having trouble getting up and down from the floor, Wall Pilates offers a great exercise option as it eliminates moves that are harder to do in those instances.
  • It is also a great choice if you cannot lay flat on your back for long periods of time, or at all.
  • Wall Pilates is an excellent way to improve posture, balance, and alignment.
  • This exercise is also great if you are looking to mix up your Pilates practice or routine.
  • Since you can do this anywhere, you can excercise when you travel, or during your break at work.
  • By using the wall as a Pilates prop together with your Mat, you can challenge your upper body strength, and mobility.

Typical Wall Pilates Exercises

Roll Down - like the roll-up on the Mat, it is great for opening the back and hips, while engaging the abdominals.

Wall Sits - Like Footwork on the Reformer, Wall Sits can be held or done in a steady flow, engaging the lower body and abdominals.

The Hundred - May seem strange to do the Hundred on the Wall but it is still quite effective on warming up the body and firing up the abdominals.

Push-Ups - With the Wall, you can adjust the angle of the incline with the push-ups making it more accessible or challenging depending on your needs.

Arm Circles - A great way to open the shoulders and back while maintaining alignment of the spine.

Single Leg Circle - A Mat exercise that can easily be adapted to the Wall to help with balance, stability, and core strength.

Side Leg Lifts - Taking the leg series from the Mat to the Wall will tone your legs and challenge your balance.

Side Bend- A great way to open the side body, including the shoulders and hips.

Bridge - If you're able to get onto the floor then incorporating the Wall can take this exercise to the next level.

Plank Variation - Whether you're looking for a more accessible plank or a new challenge there are multiple ways to incorporate this exercise into your practice.

Wall Pilates classes offered at Pilates Anytime

Take it to the Wall - In this exercise, you will play with gravity and focus on alignment, focusing on imbalances.

Awareness - a great exercise to improve your mind-body connection.

Osteoporosis-Safe Flow - in this wall workout you will focus on lower body exercises and balance - a great workout for bone density issues.

Control - this class will help you control your movements while focusing on balance and alignment.

Standing Upper Body Flow - this workout will aim on your upper body and back, while opening your chest and shoulders.

A Flow for Everyone - using the wall for feedback, this exercise will introduce you to the hundreds and articulate your spine.

Spine - restore balance in your spine with prone, supine, and quadruped positions.

In Summary

Whether you are struggling with chronic back pain or just want to get more active and healthier, Wall Pilates is a great option to get in shape. With these low-impact, gentle moves, you will get a stronger core and be more balanced, flexible, and aligned.

Marchel Ackler
About the Author

Marchel Ackler

Marchel Ackler is a Marketing Associate at Pilates Anytime. She lives in Knightdale, NC. She enjoys cooking with loved ones, crocheting, and gardening, is currently learning how to play pool (billiards), and loves going on adventures with her husband and puppy.


Hi Marchel, could you please explain how you would do a wall bridge without actually getting down onto the floor as you mention in  “if you’re unable to get down on the floor” ? I understand about having your feet on the wall but you would still be supine in the floor? Intrigued, Louise
Hi Louise O, I believe Marchel meant "if you're able to get down onto the floor" as in the exercise is primarily done supine on the floor. However, you could try a wall sit as shown in the thumbnail image and then peel the hips forward, away from the wall. I hope this helps.
Yes that makes sense thank you!

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