The Reformer, Cadillac, and Wunda Chair are crucial pieces of equipment for the lengthening, toning, and strengthening exercises that are Pilates’ bread and butter. But if you don’t have access to a studio (or the budget to join one), don’t worry—you can get a great workout using just your bodyweight and a wall. Wall Pilates is a great way to get started with the basic principles of Pilates without any expensive equipment. It’s especially useful for beginners who are still learning the proper form for Pilates exercises. It’s also helpful for rehabilitation after an injury. The benefits of wall Pilates are similar to those of traditional Pilates: increased flexibility, strength, and endurance (9). But there are some unique benefits from this type of Pilates as well. Here are 20 wall Pilates benefits that you’ll wish you had known about sooner!
The chances of fitting a Pilates reformer in the average living room are pretty slim. But a wall? That’s a different story. All you need is enough space to lay down with your arms outstretched—which makes wall Pilates accessible to just about anyone.
Furthermore, if the cost of a Pilates studio membership is preventing you from trying Pilates, wall Pilates is a great alternative. It’s an incredibly cost-effective way to get all the benefits of Pilates without spending a fortune.
Lastly, wall Pilates is perfect for those times when you can’t make it to the studio. Whether you’re traveling for work or taking a vacation, you can still get your Pilates fix by using a wall.
2. Increased Core Strength And Function
The core is referred to as the body’s powerhouse for a reason. It’s responsible for stabilizing the spine and pelvis, and it plays a vital role in just about every movement we make.
The abdominal muscles, obliques, hip and lower back muscles make up the core, and they’re all engaged when you do Pilates exercises. By using your bodyweight and the resistance of the wall, you can target all the muscles of the core—not just the abs (8).
Consequently, you’ll experience less back and hip pain, better pelvic floor function, and improved posture.
3. Improved Spinal Alignment
One of the main goals of Pilates is to achieve proper spinal alignment. This means that the curves of the spine are in their natural position and the pelvis is level.When the spine is properly aligned, it’s better able to bear the weight of the body and move smoothly. Poor alignment, on the other hand, can lead to pain and stiffness.
Wall Pilates is an excellent way to improve your spinal alignment (3). The exercises help lengthen and stretch the spine, which can help reduce any existing curvature.
They also strengthen the muscles that support the spine—namely, the abs, back, and glutes. As a result, you’ll stand taller and feel lighter.
4. Relief From Back Pain
Wall Pilates exercises help lengthen the spine and decompress the vertebrae. They also strengthen the muscles that support the spine, which can help to prevent future pain. If you’re dealing with back pain, wall Pilates is a great way to find relief.
5. Lower Risk Of Injury
Muscle imbalances are one of the main causes of injuries. When certain muscles are significantly weaker than others, it can put undue stress on tendons and joints.
Pilates exercises help to correct muscle imbalances by targeting all the major muscle groups equally. As a result, you’ll be less likely to experience an injury (8).
Wall Pilates is especially beneficial for those who are prone to injuries. The wall provides support and stability, which can help you avoid any strain on previously weak or injured muscles.
6. Energy Boost
Breath work is a vital component of Pilates. In fact, many of the exercises are designed to help you learn how to breathe more deeply and efficiently (8).
This deep breathing helps to oxygenate the blood and improve circulation. It also has a calming effect on the nervous system, which can lead to an increase in energy levels (12).
The low impact nature of this exercise also makes it easier on the body, meaning you won’t be as exhausted after your workout. Consequently, you’ll have more energy throughout the day.
7. Enhanced Proprioception
Proprioception is the body’s ability to sense where it is in space. It’s what allows you to touch your nose with your eyes closed or walk without looking at your feet. This awareness of the body in space is incredibly important for athletes, as it can help to prevent injuries.
Wall Pilates exercises help to improve proprioception by requiring you to maintain balance and control (8). As you move your body in different planes of motion, you’ll develop a better sense of where it is in space. This can help you to avoid injuries both on and off the field.
8. Stress Relief
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to find ways to de-stress. Exercise is a great way to do this, as it helps to release endorphins—the body’s natural feel-good chemicals (2).
Wall Pilates is especially beneficial for stress relief because of its low impact and gentle nature. The inward focus required for the exercises can also help clear your mind and improve your mood (9).
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9. Relief From Menstrual Pain
If you suffer from menstrual cramps, wall Pilates can help (6). The exercises help stretch the muscles in the pelvis and lower back, which can provide relief from pain. They also improve circulation to the area, which can help reduce inflammation.
10. Better Flexibility And Mobility
Flexibility and mobility are two often overlooked and interchanged terms, but they’re actually quite different. Think of a rubber band—that’s flexible. It can be stretched and pulled in different directions without breaking. Now think of a steel rod—that’s not flexible. It’s rigid and doesn’t move very much.
Mobility, on the other hand, refers to the range of motion around a joint. The more mobile a joint is, the greater the range of motion.
For example, someone with good shoulder mobility can lift their arms above their head and touch their shoulders blades together.Someone with poor shoulder mobility might not be able to raise their arms much past 90 degrees.
Wall Pilates exercises can help to improve both flexibility and mobility (9). The stretches help lengthen the muscles and increase the range of motion around the joints. This can help you move more freely and with greater ease.
11. Improved Circulation
Poor circulation can lead to a number of problems, including tiredness, swelling, and varicose veins. Wall Pilates exercises can help to improve circulation by promoting deep breathing and encouraging the movement of fluids through the body (8).
The exercises can also help strengthen the muscles around the veins, which can improve blood flow and reduce the risk of varicose veins.
12. Improved Digestion
The gentle contractions required for wall Pilates exercises can help massage the internal organs and stimulate digestion. This can help relieve constipation, bloating, and gas .
The improved circulation can also help deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the cells, which can promote healing and increase energy levels (8).
13. Boosted Immune System
Exercise is known to boost the immune system (10), and wall Pilates is no exception. The deep breathing required for the exercises helps improve lung function and increase the intake of oxygen (8). This can help fight off infection and improve overall health.
14. Greater Bone Density
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by low bone density and an increased risk of fractures. It’s most common in older adults, but it can affect people of all ages. Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent and treat osteoporosis, as it helps build and maintain bone mass.
Wall Pilates is especially beneficial for bone health because of the weight-bearing exercises (11). These exercises help stimulate the growth of new bone cells and slow the loss of existing ones. This can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of fractures.
15. Improved Cognitive Functioning
Cognitive decline is a normal part of aging, but it can be accelerated by certain lifestyle factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function and slow the progression of cognitive decline.
Studies have shown that Pilates training improves several markers of cognitive function (5).New neuron development, increased neurotransmitters, longevity of neurons responsible for memory and learning, and increased cerebral blood flow have all been observed with Pilates training.
16. More Motivation
One of the challenges people pursuing an active lifestyle face is a lack of motivation. It can be difficult to stay motivated when you don’t see results immediately or when your workout routine becomes mundane.
Wall Pilates can help increase motivation by providing a new and challenging workout routine. The exercises are also adaptable, so you can make them as easy or as difficult as you need to. This allows you to gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you become stronger and more fit.
17. Better Intimate Life
Multiple studies associate a strong pelvic floor with a better quality of life and increased sexual satisfaction (1). The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and other internal organs, and they contract during sexual intercourse.
Pilates exercises can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (4), which can lead to improved bladder control, reduced urinary incontinence, and increased sexual satisfaction.
18. Enhanced Sports Performance
Wall Pilates can help athletes improve their performance by increasing strength, flexibility, and range of motion. The exercises can also help improve balance and coordination (9).
Some of the most popular sports that can benefit from wall Pilates include golf, tennis, basketball, and football. Golfers can benefit from the increased strength and range of motion, while tennis players can benefit from the improved balance and coordination.
19. Better Sleep
Adding Pilates to your weekly routine can help you sleep better at night. The deep breathing exercises can help calm the mind and body, and the relaxation techniques can help reduce stress levels. This can lead to improved sleep quality and quantity (8).
20. Benefits For Pregnant Women
Pregnant women can benefit from wall Pilates in many of the same ways as other people. The exercises can help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. They can also help improve balance and coordination (7).
In addition, Pilates can help prepare the body for labor and delivery. The deep breathing exercises can help relax the mind and body, and the pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen the muscles used during childbirth (7).
Pilates is a great exercise for pregnant women because it can be adapted to different stages of pregnancy. The intensity can be increased or decreased as needed, and the exercises can be modified to avoid putting too much strain on the body.
BetterMe App For Wall Pilates
Getting into wall Pilates doesn’t have to be complicated: there’s a section in the BetterMe app for it! You’ll access a wide range of workout videos that will target different muscle groups with the help of our experts. In addition, each wall Pilates workout is demonstrated by professionals, so you’ll see how it’s done and what the proper form is.
If you want to challenge yourself even further, there are also routines that focus on specific muscle groups. For instance, you can try the upper back flow to work on your posture, the deep core strengthening sequence to work on your abs, or the full-body wall Pilates workout to tone your entire body.
The Bottom Line
Wall Pilates is a great way to improve your overall health and well-being. The exercises are low-impact and can be adapted to different fitness levels. They are also safe for pregnant women and people with injuries or chronic pain.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- A strong pelvic floor is associated with higher rates of sexual activity in women with pelvic floor disorders (2015, nih.gov)
- Biochemistry, Endorphin (2022, nih.gov)
- Co-contraction of the core muscles during Pilates exercise on the Wunda Chair (2020, nih.gov)
- Effect of a 12-Week Pilates Pelvic Floor-Strengthening Program on Short-Term Measures of Stress Urinary Incontinence in Women: A Pilot Study (2020, nih.gov)
- Effectiveness of A Pilates Training Program on Cognitive and Functional Abilities in Postmenopausal Women (2020, nih.gov)
- HOW PILATES CAN HELP RELIEVE PERIOD PAIN (2019, polestarpilates.co.uk)
- Pilates and pregnancy (2005, nih.gov)
- Pilates – health benefits (2022, betterhealth.vic.gov.au)
- Pilates: how does it work and who needs it? (2011, nih.gov)
- The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system (2019, nih.gov)
- The effects of clinical pilates exercises on bone mineral density, physical performance and quality of life of women with postmenopausal osteoporosis (2015, nih.gov)
- The physiological effects of slow breathing in the healthy human (2017, nih.gov)