Pilates against the wall – how to practice it at home?

Going to the gym or yoga studio isn’t always possible. The multitude of responsibilities and what – so often – we lack, i.e. time, do not have to mean giving up physical activity. Your private exercise studio is at your disposal whenever you want. So perhaps wall pilates will be just what you are looking for. All you need is a yoga mat and a wall.

When in 1920, Joseph Pilates developed a system of exercises named after him – Pilates – he perhaps did not expect that over a hundred years later it would become a world-famous method of working not only on the body, but also on the mind. Perhaps, because this quote from Joseph Pilates: “The whole country, the whole world should do my exercises. “Everyone Would Be Happier” reflects not only his belief in the power of exercise as a way to build a healthy body, but also a healthy mind.

What exactly is pilates? By definition, Pilates Foundation is a holistic exercise system that aims to lengthen, strengthen and restore balance to the body; much more than just building a “strong core” or “perfect posture.”

He opened the first Pilates studio in 1926 with his wife Clara. Over the years, numerous pilates schools have been established, gaining followers and supporters, first in the United States and then in Europe. There are currently over twelve million Pilates practitioners around the world, and this number continues to grow.

Pilates wall squat

There is nothing particularly surprising about this, especially since Pilates can take various forms that respond to the changing challenges of everyday life and our own capabilities and preferences for working on the body. One of the latest evolutions of this system is wall pilates.

Pilates against the wall – what is it?

If you have already had the opportunity to exercise at home, for example by choosing online yoga, you know well the advantages of being in the comfort of your home and practicing exactly when you feel the need. Pilates at home against a wall is very similar. It is comfortable, and all you need to exercise is a wall.

Using a wall for Pilates exercises seems very simple?! Very good, because it is! Pilates at home involves using wall resistance and body weight to work different muscle groups. In other words, pressing one or more parts of the body (mainly the feet) against the wall while performing movements such as wall squats or planks. The wall in this mat Pilates variation will not only help you practice balance and stability, but also increase resistance.

Forget about expensive exercise equipment – the proverbial four walls of your apartment will help you with effective training that does not require specialized equipment. Not even four, but one wall. You can feel better in your body, get additional support for your yoga sessions or other exercises on the mat, work at your own rhythm and whenever you want – there are many advantages.

This healthy trend of online pilates (and this is what we like the most) is taking social media by storm (over 6.6 billion views of videos related to wall pilates on the TikTok application). Therefore, if you are wondering whether wall pilates can be practiced at home – the answer is YES!

Pilates against the wall for beginners

Effective wall pilates training allows you to introduce stability and support every day. Pilates against the wall targets different muscle groups and emphasizes overall strengthening of the entire body, flexibility and increasing body awareness. Before exercising, it is necessary to warm up. During the exercises themselves, focus on the movements and breathing.

As a warm-up, you can do a simple breathing exercise:

  • Sit or stand against a wall.
  • Take a deep breath through your nose and feel your chest expand.
  • Exhale fully through your mouth, engaging your abdominal muscles.
  • Repeat for 5-10 breaths.

Pilates against the wall – exercises

Pilates wall exercises at home are a good option for people who are just starting out with Pilates because they provide support and stability while building strength and flexibility.

Here are some of the wall pilates exercises for beginners:

1. Sloping wall:

  • Lean with your back against the wall. Place your feet hip-width apart.
  • Inhale and “lengthen” your spine, then exhale and slowly lean towards the floor (arms hanging loose). You can touch the wall with your hands if necessary.
  • Inhale and roll your spine back into an upright position, slowly, vertebra by vertebra.

2. Wall squats:

  • Lean with your back against the wall. Place your feet hip-width apart.
  • Slide down the wall slowly, bending your knees and keeping them above your ankles.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds, then help yourself to stand up by pushing through your heels.

3. Wall push-ups:

  • Stand facing the wall. Let your arms be extended at shoulder height and your hands resting on the wall.
  • Slowly lower your chest towards the wall, bending your elbows.
  • Push yourself back to the starting position, keeping your body in a straight line.

Pilates against the wall for the spine

Pilates against the wall can be particularly beneficial for working on a healthy spine, because it supports the flexibility and strength of this irreplaceable support of our entire body.

Check out some of these Pilates wall exercises for your spine:

1. Sloping wall

  • Lean with your back against the wall. Place your feet hip-width apart.
  • Inhale and “lengthen” your spine, then exhale and slowly lean towards the floor (arms hanging loose). You can touch the wall with your hands if necessary.
  • Inhale and roll your spine back into an upright position, slowly, vertebra by vertebra.

2. Stretched cat and cow against the wall:

  • Stand with your hands on the wall at shoulder height.
  • Inhale and at the same time arch your back, allowing your belly to fall (cow pose).
  • Exhale, rounding your spine, and tucking your chin toward your chest (Cat Pose).
  • Repeat the sequence, switching between the cat and the cow.

3. Twist of the spine against the wall:

  • Sit on the floor with your side to the wall.
  • Place your legs against the wall in an “L” shape.
  • Rotate your torso to one side, placing one hand on the wall for support and the other on the opposite knee.
  • Hold the position for a few breaths and feel your spine stretch. Repeat, changing sides.

pilates against the wall

Pilates against the wall for abdominal muscles

A flat stomach can be achieved not only by strenuous exercises, but also slowly and systematically, without excessive loads. In addition to the aesthetic effect, strong abdominal muscles are also important because they “hold” our spine and prevent poor posture. Pilates against the wall can help you exercise your abdominal muscles.

Check out Pilates exercises for abdominal muscles:

1. Wall Crunches:

  • Lie on your back, with your feet against the wall and your knees bent.
  • Bring your hands behind your head and raise your upper body to your knees.
  • Lower your back down and repeat 15-20.

2. Wall leg raises:

  • Lie on your back with your hips close to the wall. Keep your legs vertically straight.
  • Lower your legs towards the floor, keeping them straight, and then raise them back up.
  • Do 10-15 repetitions.

pilates training leg raises

3. Board against the wall:

  • Lie on your side (elbow under arm) with your legs against the wall.
  • Lift your hips to form a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Stay in the position for 20-30 seconds on each side.

To cool down, you can do child’s pose against the wall for 30 seconds or bend forward in a sitting position.

Pilates against the wall for weight loss

Pilates exercises can be successfully used to lose weight and build muscle. Research shows that pilates effectively helps reduce BMI, body fat percentage, slim figure and reduce waist circumference (1).

Pilates tones muscles, which can help you burn calories and lose weight. More movement for our spine and joints, proper breathing – all these healthy practices translate directly into our health and better well-being, but they can also lead to weight loss. According to a study published in the Journal for Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, just eight weeks of Pilates exercises have a positive effect on body weight in overweight women with a sedentary lifestyle.

Weight loss exercises as part of a pilates practice against the wall will be helpful for flabby abdominal muscles and body parts that you want to slim, such as arms, legs, hips and buttocks. Pilates will allow you to focus on the most important elements of the body – the abdominal muscles and lower back, buttocks, hips and pelvic muscles. Remember, however, that to effectively lose weight you need to combine a healthy diet and physical exercise.

If you have no idea for healthy, vegetarian meals, be sure to download our free e-book with recipes 🙂

Pilates against the wall for weight loss – exercises

Here are some exercises you can include in your weight loss program:

1. Wall squats:

  • Stand with your back to the wall and place your feet hip-width apart.
  • Slide down the wall into a squat position, making sure your knees are directly above your ankles.
  • Hold the squat position for 10-30 seconds, focusing on engaging the core and thigh muscles.
  • Get up and repeat.

2. Wall push-ups:

  • Stand facing a wall with your arms extended at shoulder height. Place your hands on the wall.
  • Lower your chest towards the wall by bending your elbows.
  • Push yourself back to the starting position, keeping your body in a straight line.

3. Bridge against the wall:

  • Lie on your back, place your feet against the wall and bend your knees.
  • Press your feet against the wall, lifting your hips toward the ceiling. Create a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Lower your body back to the mat and repeat.

Pilates against the wall for seniors

Pilates, like yoga for seniors, allows you to return to an active lifestyle and can help improve flexibility, strength, balance and proper posture in older people. Additionally, without the need for strenuous fitness exercises and hectoliters of sweat. It’s never too late to exercise. And if we are over sixty years old and simply do not want to go to a Pilates studio or a gym, online Pilates training at home will be convenient and effective.

pilates against the wall

Wall pilates will also be a better alternative for seniors because, unlike classic pilates, the wall will help provide stability, balance and control during movements. By using the wall as support, it will be easier to perform movements with greater precision and avoid injuries, and, just as importantly, you can take a breather at any time by leaning against the wall. The wall will also allow you to perform more advanced movements without fear of falling or losing balance, which can often discourage seniors.

What are some examples of Pilates exercises for seniors?

  1. Lean with your back against the wall, with your legs slightly apart. Your head can also rest against the wall, but this is not necessary. Stretch your arms straight out in front of you and spread them wide against the wall. Slowly slide your hands down the wall until they touch your hips. Repeat the movement 3-4 times.
  2. With your back against the wall, raise your straight arms to shoulder width and slowly “slide” down the wall until you reach a squat position. Depending on your range, it may be a squat with slightly bent legs or a deeper one. Remember to keep your shoulder blades and arms retracted and your belly pulled in. Repeat the movement 3-4 times.

Pilates against the wall – effects

The health benefits of pilates at home against the wall are similar to those of practicing pilates. They include not only improved flexibility and increased muscle strength and tone, especially the abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks, but also:

  • balanced muscle strength on both sides of the body,
  • increased muscle control of the back and limbs,
  • improved spine stabilization and body posture,
  • improving physical coordination and balance,
  • relaxation of the shoulders, neck and upper back,
  • increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing,
  • increased body awareness and better concentration,
  • coping with stress and relaxation.

Standing Pilates at home is also an effective method supporting rehabilitation and prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalance, and prevention of injuries to the musculoskeletal system. These are also safe exercises after joint and spine injuries.

Pilates or yoga?

Both methods complement each other and bring benefits to the body and mind. You can practice both Pilates and yoga at home, using online exercises and having a practice plan developed. Pilates places more emphasis on movement control and muscle endurance, unlike yoga, which connects the body to the mind through the flow of movement.

If you care more about building strength and stability of your core muscles, have a sedentary job, have back problems, or already practice a sport that requires a strong spine – pilates will be a good solution. Despite low-impact training, Pilates or its evolution, wall pilates, will still be a major challenge for your muscles. If you are looking for exercises that, in addition to flexibility, will also bring more relaxation and a better connection between body and mind, it is worth turning to yoga.

One thing is certain – the most important thing is to start, and whether it be wall pilest exercises or yoga practice, we risk nothing and can gain a lot. We can give ourselves a pilates challenge or a yoga challenge, which, if we open up a little, can bring surprising results.

Since, as Joseph Pilates said, “Each of us is the architect of our own happiness”, isn’t it worth trying to get at least a little closer to it, to greater balance, peace and body satisfaction??! Ultimately, this body, treated with love and attention, will reward you with many years of cooperation. What will your Pilates challenge be?

Start today!

If you would like to learn the Pilates technique, learn proper posture and strengthen your stomach and spine, join the PortalYogi Studio now, where you will find an entire section with Pilates exercises with various teachers – you can choose who you want to practice with.

Pilates is the key to a healthy spine and absolutely basic knowledge for every person who cares about their health.

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