Is Wall Pilates A Good Workout?

By Ellie Smith

3 weeks ago

An expert guide to TikTok's latest Pilates trend


Over 100 years since it was first invented, it feels like Pilates is finally having its moment. TikTok is awash with videos praising the low-impact workout in all its forms – but there’s a particularly big interest surrounding one kind right now: wall Pilates. The hashtag #wallpilates has amassed millions of views on the platform, with devotees claiming it can help sculpt your body from home, acting as a cheaper alternative to reformer Pilates. But does it work? Here’s everything you need to know about one of the buzziest workouts of 2024.

Wall Pilates: Everything You Need To Know About The TikTok Trend

What Is Wall Pilates?

Unlike classical Pilates, a disciplined format created by German anatomist Joseph Pilates, there’s no official set of exercises for wall Pilates. Instead, it involves performing mat Pilates exercises while pressing your feet, hands or other body parts against the wall. ‘Wall Pilates involves incorporating a wall into your Pilates workout to aid with stability, assist with alignment and add resistance,’ says Pilates instructor Daniella Laxton, founder of Core Tonic. The wall acts as an alternative to the foot bar found on a reformer machine, often used to perform glute bridges, press ups and more.

Benefits

Pilates of any kind offers a whole host of health benefits for body and mind. These include:

  • Improving flexibility and balance
  • Increasing muscular strength and tone, particularly for the core
  • Improving posture
  • Rehabilitating injuries
  • Enhancing body awareness
  • Reducing stress
  • Correcting muscular imbalances

So what about wall Pilates in particular? Firstly, it can be done from home, or anywhere else in the world, making it a good way to mix up your workouts while travelling. It also acts as a cheaper alternative to reformer Pilates, which can be expensive. Other benefits include:

  • It’s suitable for all fitness levels, and can be particularly useful for beginners. 
  • The wall adds an extra layer of stability and support.
  • The wall also assists with alignment – in a mermaid stretch, for instance, you can use it to help with ribcage and spinal alignment. 
  • It can make certain exercises more challenging, such as a glute bridge, as your hamstrings and glutes will have to work a little harder with the feet lifted.
@mariasteixeira_ Tone and sculpt your glutes and abs with this challenging wall Pilates workout. The band is going to add an extra burn on the side glutes! Do the exercises back to back with little to no rest. When you’re done with round 1, take a minute break and do it again for 2 more rounds. 3 rounds total! 👉🏻 my booty bands: @H E R A 👉🏻 multi functional mat: @Stakt 💕 Iinks in my bio #pilatesgluteworkout #gluteworkout #pilatescore #wallpilates #pilatesworkout #pilatesmat #gluteexercises #workoutathome ♬ Chase It (Mmm Da Da Da) – Bebe Rexha

Does Wall Pilates Work?

TikTok is notorious for its wellness crazes, which are often ineffective – or at worst, dangerous. However, wall Pilates is a trend fitness professionals can get behind. ‘Mat Pilates will always give you great results if done properly, but the addition of a wall will definitely add some more variation – and in some cases, more of a challenge,’ says Daniella. ‘For example, the wall can help to improve your form, especially where alignment is concerned. If you find stability exercises challenging, it can also be a great way of adding assistance. In other cases, it could work as a (non expensive!) form of resistance.

‘In the same way that you would add a ball or a Pilates ring, the wall will bring variation and some added benefits to your workout. It can help you turn your workouts up a notch, or provide assistance when needed.’ Ultimately, any type of Pilates will be beneficial – it’s simply about finding the kind you best enjoy. 

Woman doing a glute bridge

Getty Images

Wall Pilates Exercises

Keen to give it a try? Common wall Pilates exercises include:

  • Glute bridge
  • Spine stretch
  • Push ups
  • Roll downs
  • Wall sit
  • Side lying clam