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Wall Pilates Moves: A Simple Way To Improve Fitness & Health From Home

When nurse-physiotherapist Joseph Pilates came up with his first reformer, it was to help his sick, injured and disabled patients practice physiotherapy to help them get better (9). He had hoped that this mode of exercise would help activate the brain cells of his patients to a place where they would stimulate the mind and affect the body in a positive way.

Today, decades since Joseph Pilates work proved to be almost miraculous to his war patients, Pilates has become rather popular, not only in the rehabilitation space, but in the fitness field as a whole. 

However, despite its many benefits – i.e., improving mental health, pain, flexibility, fitness, balance, and physical function among adults and the elderly etc. (2), the workout has largely been inaccessible to many – mostly due to the cost of paying for classes. 

Enter, wall Pilates. Wall Pilates techniques are a modified variation of the classic reformer Pilates – making them more accessible to people without the funds or easy access to a Pilates studio. If you’ve always wanted to try out this exercise but couldn’t access it before then this article is for you.

Read on to learn more about wall Pilates moves and how you can incorporate them in your fitness routine, right in the comfort of your home!

How Effective Is Wall Pilates?

Wall Pilates moves are very effective. More effective than people are willing to give them credit for.

Yes, wall Pilates simply refers to doing Pilates against the wall with a simple mat on the floor, but just because you do not have any fancy equipment, it doesn’t mean that the workout is any less effective.

What you need to remember is that wall Pilates are simply a modified version of classic reformer pilates. The reformer may be out of the picture, but the exercises remain the same. Plus, the resistance offered by the reformer is now offered by a solid wall. 

As long as your form is good and you are dedicated to following your wall Pilates plan, you will see some impressive results sooner rather than later

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Potential Benefits of Following A 21 Day Pilates Workout Plan

Whether you choose to do a wall Pilates for beginners routine at home or sign up to reformer classes at a studio, here are some benefits that you could expect to see

Stronger Core

If strengthening your core (and getting a flatter tummy) has been your goal, forget the situps and crunches and give Pilates a chance. While Pilates can strengthen other parts and muscles of the body, at its heart, Pilates is a workout that is based on the core.

Joseph Pilates himself is quoted as stating that the core is the powerhouse of his workout and overtime the core has been found to play a huge role in rehabilitation, fitness, and performance enhancement programs (9).

Studies over the years have shown that doing Pilates has a huge impact in core strengthening. Practicing some core wall pilates moves at home while eating a healthy low calorie deficit diet will -overtime – help you get a flatter stomach and even defined abs (8, 10, 13, .

Less Pain & Improved Quality of Life

Exercise as a whole has been used as a mode to rehabilitate patients and help with pain management. Regular physical activity does this through the prevention of joint stiffness, muscle tightness, improvement of blood circulation, mood improvement and many other factors (1, 5, 7).

Pilates as a type of physical activity has also been shown to help with pain management which too leads to the improved quality of life of many patients.

  1. In a study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, researchers found that after 8 weeks of following a core focused, mat-based Pilates program the subjects not only reported less pains but also reported a better health-related quality of life (10).
  2. In a review of 563 studies published in early 2023, researchers found that doing core-based Pilates exercises helps with improving core strength and core muscle thickness. The researchers strongly believe that this improved core strength can be used as an effective intervention for people living with chronic low back pain in reducing pain and improving quality of life (13).
  3. Another study review looking at randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and comparative trials that involved female participants with medical conditions found that Pilates can in fact help improve the health and well being of the women (4).

Not only can this exercise help with improving quality of life while lowering pain and disability but it also helps with increased flexibility, strength, mobility, respiratory rate, vital capacity, body mass index, and balance among other benefits (4).


Better Posture

A lot of classic and wall pilates positions are held together and made effective by the core. A stronger core means better trunk and spinal strength which leads to better posture. The results from one randomized control trial published in 2010 showed that doing a 12-weeks pilates routine can help improve posture in healthy subjects (12).

Another trial done on middle-aged women also showed that mat pilates (yet another variation of classic pilates) helped with muscle strengthening which led to better trunk postural alignment (2).

Better postural alignment and posture are not only seen in healthy individuals. In a rather new systematic review, researchers state that Pilates exercise could also be used to help persons with spinal deformities. They believe that not only could these exercises help with the correction of these deformities and posture, but could also lead to improved quality of life, pain relief, function and fitness. However, more research on the matter is still needed (3).

Better Athletic Performance & Gains

Pilates places a lot of value in the mind-muscle connection. In layman’s language the mind-muscle connection is a deliberate and conscious focus on a specific muscle group.

It is said that by doing this, you are able to contract the muscle that you are working better which can lead to improved muscle activation and even increased muscle mass (6). By practicing pilates you may be able to experience better results while lifting weights, playing sports or doing other kinds of exercises since your mind and body are better connected

Read more: Wall Pilates for Butt: A Quick Guide for Beginners

Reduced Risk of Injury

Pilates helps improve muscle and joint flexibility (12). Loose and flexible muscles/joints means these parts are able to achieve their full range of motion which can prevent injury not only while working out, but also in day to day tasks

Additional Benefits

Some other benefits that you may experience after adding wall pilates moves to your workout routine include (8)

  1. Weight loss and better weight management
  2. Better pelvic floor strength – This could be beneficial in reducing pain levels and improving the quality of life of breast cancers and fibromyalgia patients but also healthy elderly women. Better pelvic floor strength could also be beneficial for dancers as it can improve their dynamic posture and leaping ability.
  3. Improved balance – Better core strength usually means better balance too. This is especially essential to older adults who are more prone to losing balance, falling over which leads to injuries and fractures
  4. It’s a low impact workout – This means it’s easier of the joints making it safer for persons with knee problems as well as patients undergoing orthopedic procedures, like total hip or knee arthroplasty
  5. Diabetes management – The exercise helps in lowering fasting blood glucose which is beneficial for anyone dealing with type 2 diabetes (4).

Does 28 Day Wall Pilates Really Work?

Yes, it does. Actually any workout plan/challenge will work if you are dedicated to it and also eat the right way. If you are looking to follow along with a 28-day wall Pilates challenge, make sure to follow the instructions given by experts. 

Do not be afraid to stop and start over if you feel like you missed something or your form is a little off. The learning and success stories are always littered with mistakes. Give yourself grace to make said mistakes and do not give up.

Remember that what you eat while on this challenge also matters. You diet should be mainly focused on

  1. Carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits as well starchy and non-starchy vegetables
  2. Protein – specifically from lean animal protein, fatty fish and other seafood as well as plant protein from beans, nuts, soy products and lentils.
  3. Healthy fats – These can be found in fatty fish, eggs, avocados, seeds, dairy and healthy oils.
  4. Water – Hydration is essential both in daily life and when working out (before, during and after).


What Is The Best Wall Pilates Workout?

If you are looking for wall pilates exercise for beginners, it is important to realize that there is no one workout that will give you all the impressive results that you’re hoping for. Instead of doing this, we suggest that you look for a more rounded routine. 

Remember that while Pilates is mostly seen as a core exercise, it can also be used to strengthen other parts of the body including the legs, glutes, shoulders and arms. Thus the best wall pilates workout routine is one that offers wall pilates positions that target the lower body, core as well as the upper body. The routine should also advocate for rest days.

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  • How Many Times A Week Should You Do Wall Pilates?

You can do your wall pilates exercises 4 to 5 times a week. Most such routines only require 10 to 30 minutes of your time thus are super quick to do. After following this routine consistently for a few weeks, you will start noticing some of the above mentioned benefits as well as other changes to your body.

  • How Long Does It Take To See Results For Pilates?

Non physical changes can begin to appear in as little as 2 to 3 weeks of consistent wall Pilates. Things like increased flexibility, better cardio fitness, better posture/balance don’t take too long to start showing. The changes might not be drastic but they’ll still be there.

However, more physical changes i.e, weight loss, muscle toning, etc. may take much longer to become visible, especially if you are heavier or have more body fat. This does not mean that the Pilates routine is not working. Such physical changes generally take longer to show regardless of the routine. Be patient and give this a period of about 2 months.

  • How Many Calories Do You Burn In Wall Pilates?

Depending on how much you weigh, you can burn anywhere between 171 to 257 calories in a one-hour Pilates session. Remember that the more someone weighs the more calories they burn during a workout session. It takes more energy to move a larger body than a smaller one.

  • Can You Do Wall Pilates Everyday?

You can if you want to, but it is highly advised that you don’t. As previously mentioned, rest days are extremely important in any workout routine. While you may think that working out everyday will lead to better and faster results, the opposite is actually true.

Working out everyday – regardless of training plan – will lead to overtraining. This is a condition that occurs when you train/exercise the body too much that it is no longer able to naturally recover. Once you reach this state, your muscles become excessively sore, your immunity drops, your performance suffers, you may find it difficult to sleep, become irritable and become more at risk of injury while exercising.

To prevent this condition, you are advised to have rest for 24 to 48 hours a week – you can even go up to 72 hours whenever possible

  • What Are The Best 7 Wall Exercises For Flat Stomach?

Some wall pilates core workouts that you can do to strengthen the core and flatten the tummy include wall

  1. Wall bicycle crunches
  2. Mountain climbers against wall
  3. Wall planks
  4. Wall sit-ups
  5. Leg lifts against the wall
  6. Wall bridges with leg extension
  7. Wall sits/squat holds

The Bottom Line

Wall pilates moves are simply a modified and more accessible version of the traditional reformer Pilates. They work just as well as the traditional version in improving body composition, pain management, rehabilitation as well as other health benefits. If you are looking for a simple way to stay fit while at home, give wall Pilates a try.


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!


  1. Does exercise increase or decrease pain? Central mechanisms underlying these two phenomena (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  2. Effect of mat pilates exercise on postural alignment and body composition of middle-aged women (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  3. Effects of Pilates exercises on spine deformities and posture: a systematic review (2024, bmcsportsscimedrehabil.biomedcentral.com)
  4. Effects of Pilates on health and well-being of women: a systematic review (2023, bfpt.springeropen.com)
  5. Exercise-induced pain and analgesia? Underlying mechanisms and clinical translation (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  6. Importance of mind-muscle connection during progressive resistance training (2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  7. Physical activity and exercise for chronic pain in adults: an overview of Cochrane Reviews (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  8. Pilates: how does it work and who needs it? (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  9. Pilates (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  10. Pilates-based core exercise improves health-related quality of life in people living with chronic low back pain: A pilot study (2021, sciencedirect.com)
  12. Pilates for improvement of muscle endurance, flexibility, balance, and posture (2010, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  13. Pilates to Improve Core Muscle Activation in Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
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