Wall Pilates Guide: Try These 4 Wall Pilates Exercises For Beginners

Check out the great benefits of at-home Wall Pilates workouts.

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Wall Pilates is a newer type of traditional Pilates that offers a challenging yet modifiable or scalable Pilates workout that is beginner-friendly.

Wall Pilates falls under the low-impact exercise category and can help you sculpt those muscles, build strength, stability, flexibility, body control, and balance. To perform Wall Pilates workouts, all you need is a free wall!

In this guide, we will discuss what wall Pilates is, the benefits of wall Pilates workouts for beginners and fitter athletes, and provide step-by-step instructions to show you the proper form of some of the best wall Pilates exercises.

We will look at: 

Let’s get started!

A wall sit.

What Is Wall Pilates?

Wall Pilates is a new form of low-impact Pilates that is great for beginners and can help increase core strength, stability, flexibility, body control, balance, and overall body strength.

Beginner wall Pilates workouts have gone viral on TikTok, in the FitTok (fitness TikTok) space with the hashtag #wallpilates or #wallpilatesworkouts.Wall Pilates. (n.d.). TikTok. Retrieved January 11, 2024, from https://www.tiktok.com/channel/wall-pilates

‌Wall Pilates exercises use a regular wall in your home, gym, or building, making wall Pilates accessible to anyone.

Instead of needing to go to Pilates classes with a Pilates instructor, you can take on wall Pilates challenges from the comfort of your own home.

Unlike mat Pilates, in which you have to get on and off the ground, there are some wall Pilates exercises for beginners that you can perform standing if you lack mobility, though there are wall Pilates exercises that you will perform lying down using the wall.

Moreover, reformer Pilates workouts are expensive because you have to buy a Pilates reformer machine or go to a Pilates studio.

Wall Pilates workouts use the wall to mimic a foot bar on the Pilates reformer machine.

You can elevate your feet and press against the wall in the way that you would use the reformer to add variety and resistance to Pilates exercises to strengthen your muscles better.

A person rolling out a yoga mat.

What Are the Benefits of Wall Pilates for Beginners?

The benefits of wall Pilates for beginners or athletes of any fitness level are:

  • You can easily perform wall Pilates as an at home workout as it is a bodyweight workout and requires no equipment
  • The wall increases resistance and adds variety to a mat Pilates workout
  • You can scale the difficulty of wall Pilates exercises for beginners based on your mobility, strength, and the muscles you want to target

The Best Wall Pilates Workout for Beginners

We have put together one of the best beginner wall Pilates routines with wall Pilates exercises that are easy enough to master yet provide a well-rounded strengthening Pilates workout.

Here are some of the best wall Pilates beginner exercises for your full body Pilates workout:

#1: Roll-Up Into Bridge

A wall pilates position.

This wall Pilates exercise for beginners primarily builds core strength1Lee, K. (2021). The Relationship of Trunk Muscle Activation and Core Stability: A Biomechanical Analysis of Pilates-Based Stabilization Exercise. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18(23), 12804. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312804 for a great abs workout but also works your entire lower body.

Here are the steps:

  1. Lie on your back facing the wall with your knees bent 90 degrees and feet flat on the wall about hip-width apart.
  2. Straighten your arms up toward the ceiling.
  3. Engage your abdominal muscles, tuck your chin into your chest, and slowly crunch up one vertebra at a time all the way up into a seated position as you reach your arms forward towards the wall, keeping them straight. Think about drawing your belly button towards your spine and using your core muscles to go as slowly as possible rather than using momentum to help you sit up.
  4. Pause and slowly roll down one vertebra at a time rather than allowing gravity to plop you back onto the mat.
  5. Then, rest your arms down at your sides as you press your feet firmly into the wall, drawing your pubic bone toward your belly button and lifting your butt all the way up into a bridge position so that your body is forming a straight line from your hips down to your shoulders.
  6. Pause and squeeze your glute muscles in the top position.
  7. Slowly lower your hips back down, keeping your pelvic floor muscles and abs drawn in and engaged the whole time.
  8. Then, begin the sequence again with the roll-up and then the bridge, completing 10 full cycles.

#2: Single-Leg Bridge With Hip Abduction

A single leg glute bridge.

This is a great beginner wall Pilates workout exercise for your core, inner thighs, butt, and legs.

  1. Set up like the previous exercise, but rest your arms on the ground by your sides.
  2. Press your left foot firmly into the wall as you straighten your right knee and take it off of the wall, pointing your toes up towards the ceiling.
  3. With one foot on the wall, use your pelvic floor and abs to draw your pubic bone and belly button inward as you push your left foot into the wall and lift your hips off the ground into a full bridge position. Keep your hips square to the floor despite using only one leg.
  4. At the top of the bridge position, hold and then bring your right leg out to the side while keeping your hips completely level. Only go as far as you can before your hips start to drop. Think about squeezing your abs, glutes, and pelvic floor muscles to stabilize your body.
  5. Slowly bring the right leg back up to the vertical position. Move as slowly as possible, engaging your inner thighs.
  6. Lower your hips back down slowly, and then repeat 10 times.
  7. Then, switch sides.

#3: Wall Sit and Calf Raise

A wall sit.

This wall Pilates exercise for beginners is perfect for those who are trying to work on mastering proper squat form without bothering the knees. Using the wall helps force proper alignment of your knees and ankles.

Plus, this is a great wall Pilates exercise for beginners because you don’t have to get on the floor.

Adding the calf raise component makes this move strengthen all of the major muscles in your lower body.

  1. Stand with your back against the wall and then step your feet out as you bend your knees and hips 90 degrees until your body forms a chair position. Keep your lower back pressed flat up against the wall, and think about drawing your belly button in towards your spine to engage your core muscles.
  2. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor, and your shins should be perpendicular with your ankles stacked directly under your knees. Make sure that your knees are not extending in front of your ankles.
  3. Extend your arms straight out in front of your body so that you are not touching your thighs.
  4. Then, hold the position for five seconds and then lift the heels off the floor, rolling your weight onto your toes to perform a calf raise while staying in your squat position.
  5. Press through the balls of your feet to point your toes.
  6. Lower your feet back down. 
  7. Perform 10 calf raises while staying in the squat hold position against the wall.

#4: Triceps Push-Up With Side Leg Lift

A wall push up.

This is a fun, full-body wall Pilates beginner exercise that works your upper body, core muscles, hips, glutes, and legs while challenging your balance.

  1. Stand with your feet together about 2-3 feet away from the wall, with your left side facing the wall.
  2. Reach your right arm across your chest and place your palm on the wall with your arm straight (adjust your distance from the wall so that you can reach the wall with no extra slack).
  3. Hug your left arm around your midsection across your body to get it out of the way.
  4. Then, step your feet further out away from the wall so that you have to lean into the wall like an angled plank. The further away your feet are, the harder the exercise will be.
  5. Once you have selected your position, keep your core tight and bend your right elbow to bring your torso into the wall, keeping your body at a 90° angle from the wall.
  6. Pause when you are in toward the wall, thinking about squeezing your triceps and obliques (side abs).
  7. Then use your triceps to press back to your starting position, fully extending your elbow.
  8. Before you begin the next push-up, keep your right leg (the one further from the wall) straight and point your toes towards the ceiling; lift your right leg or all the way out to the side, spreading your legs like opening scissors. Then, bring it back in toward your body and then straight up toward your chest and bring it out to the side again.
  9. Then, bring your leg back to the starting position and begin the sequence again.
  10. Perform 10 reps and then switch sides.
Wall pialtes.

While wall Pilates can be done at home without a reformer, we highly recommend getting The Micro, by Lagree Fitness if you want to take your at-home Pilates workouts to another level.

The Micro, by Lagree Fitness, brings the transformative power of the brand’s premium Pilates renowned Megaformer to home Pilates reformer workouts for all fitness levels.

It’s super compact and lightweight yet capable of enabling over 1,000 Pilates exercises! We love it!

If you are looking to add some cardio into your weekly workout session to aid in weight loss or weight management, check out our guide to HIIT training here.

A fit woman.

References

  • 1
    Lee, K. (2021). The Relationship of Trunk Muscle Activation and Core Stability: A Biomechanical Analysis of Pilates-Based Stabilization Exercise. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health18(23), 12804. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312804
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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