Wall Pilates as become a popular trend over the past year that promises fast weight loss and improved core strength results.
In this article I’m going to cover what it is, the benefits and considerations you need to take into account. As well as the myths around the fast weight loss claims.
I will also share with you a few examples of exercises you can try at home
What Is Wall Pilates?
Wall Pilates is a type of Pilates workout that involves using a wall for support, to help alignment and to increase resistance whilst performing Pilates exercises.
It is especially effective for beginners, people recovering from an injury and people that struggle to get down to the floor. As the wall provides stability and support and helps encourage good alignment. It can also provide a feeling of security while performing Pilates exercises.
The Benefits of Wall Pilates
It’s Accessible To Everyone – All you need is a mat (or a carpeted floor) and a wall
Great to practice in the comfort of your home and/or if you are on holiday or travelling away from home.
Provides Stability & Support – As I mentioned above the wall can give people support and confidence when performing exercises.
We use it in our classes a lot for people who struggle with their balance. Just touching the wall with their fingertips can sometimes be enough to give them the confidence and support they need to perform certain balance exercises.
If clients are not getting the mechanics of an exercise. Teaching it against the wall can sometimes cement their understanding and learning.
For example if someone is struggling to perform a Monkey Squat where they need to push their bottom back rather than letting their knees track over their toes. Encouraging them to sit back until their bottom touches the wall can help them understand the process.
Can Be Used As An Adaptation – Certain Pilates exercises can be performed against a wall, rather than on the floor which can add variety to Pilates classes.
But more importantly can be used for people who may struggle to get to the floor. Exercises such as Push Ups and Planks are great examples of this as they can be adapted to perform against a wall to encourage more loading through joints and bones such as the wrists, shoulders to help increase bone density and muscle strength.
Considerations When Performing Wall Pilates
- You need to have blank space on the wall you are using. You don’t want pictures, dado rails, shelfs, light switches etc to get in the way
Be mindful of how thick your skirting boards may be as this could cause issues with alignment if you are trying to stand in a straight upright position
- Ensure your floor surface is comfortable to perform the exercises and is not too slippy. Barefoot is also better for this reason too.
Wall Pilates & Fast Fat Loss
While Wall Pilates can be a fun, challenging and a versatile way to workout, unfortunately it is a myth that you will be able to lose weight and body fat quickly.
There is no magic formula that will help you lose weight and body fat quickly. It takes time and dedication to eating a well balanced healthy diet and participating in regular exercise that includes strength training and cardiovascular activities such as running, cycling, brisk walking, dancing etc.
Wall Pilates is a great strength training method to compliment a good exercise and fitness routine, but it’s definitely not a shortcut to rapid weight loss.
Here are 2 reasons why:
Building our Core Strength Takes Time and Dedication
We need to practice consistently and continuously and challenge our bodies to increase the intensity/resistance to get stronger over periods of time. Always overloading the muscles and bones to enable us to become stronger.
The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommended guidelines are:
- Strength training exercises for all major muscle groups, a minimum of 2 times per week
- As well as moderate-intensity cardiovascular activity for a minimum of 30 minutes, five times per week
OR vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes, three times per week
Diet Plays A Big Part In Achieving Significant Weight Loss
While exercise is an important part, it is not enough to achieve significant weight loss alone.
A combination of a well balanced nutritional diet and portion control are also essential
An holistic approach is also needed. It’s a lifestyle change and not just a short term effort such as a faddy diet.
We need to make eating healthily and exercising regularly part of our normal everyday lifestyle to ensure we sustain our weight loss long term.
This is a gradual process that takes time, effort, discipline, and consistency.
Here are a few common Wall Pilates exercises
Wall Squats – Stand with your back against the wall and your feet hip width apart. Take a step forward.
Then lower your body slowly into a squat position, keeping your back against the wall. Take it down as far as your body will allow you to go without letting your back come away from the wall. Aim for around a 90 degree angle in the knee.
Ensure your knees do not go over your toes and engage the outer thigh muscles (push gently outwards) to avoid your knees rolling in.
Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 repetitions. As you get stronger hold down for longer.
Wall Push Ups – Stand facing the wall about 1-2 feet away (this distance can be increased according to your strength and ability). Feet should be hip width apart.
Extend your arms and place your hands on the wall shoulder and half width apart (fingers pointed upwards).
Set your body into a neutral posture (ears, shoulders, hip, knees and ankles all in a line).
Lower your body to the wall by bending the elbows and allowing the elbows to go out to the side. Lower slowly until your elbows form a 90 degree angle or as far as you an go comfortably then push through your palms and straighten your arms to return to your starting position.
Ensure you keep your body in a neutral position throughout. Inhale to lower, exhale to push back up.
Aim for 8-12 repetitions and as you get stronger increase the numbers of repetitions or sets
To make this a Tricep Push Up instead set up exactly the same but have your arms at shoulder distance apart and when you lower keep your elbows tucked into the side of your body
Wall Bridge – Lie on your back with your feet against the wall, aim for a feet being hip distance apart and a 90 degree angle in the knees and hips.
Set up a neutral spine position then push through your feet and lift your hips engaging your Glutes and Hamstrings. Hold for a few seconds, then lower the hips back down to the floor with control. Repeat for 8-12 repetitions. Inhale to lower, exhale to lift.
As you get stronger increase repetitions or sets.
Wall Angel – Stand with your back and heels against the wall in a neutral posture and your arms down by your sides (palms turned inwards).
Slowly raise your arms overhead as far as you can while keeping them against the wall. Avoid hunching your shoulders up to your ears to go further than the range of movement your body will allow.
Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your arms back down to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 repetitions.
Wall Plank – Position your hands or forearms against the wall shoulder distance apart. Then step back, feet hip distance apart to create a diagonal line with the body. Ensure you set the body into a neutral position so you are in a straight line.
Hold for 30-60 seconds or as long as you can and progress as you get stronger.
To make this an harder exercise, create a bigger angle with your body.
If you’d like more guidance on how to perform these exercises and other standing and mat-based Pilates exercises join our private Facebook group where I share lots of videos and other health and wellbeing tips.
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In conclusion I hope you now have a better idea about what Wall Pilates is, the benefits and considerations if adding it to your exercise routine and that achieving fast weight loss by performing Wall Pilates is a myth!