Exploring Wall Pilates

Left side image of wall, right side picture of Beth smiling against a wall looking to the right, arms crossed wearing cream colored top.

Written by Beth Sandlin

July 7, 2023

Back in 2014 when I was teaching my very first Wall Pilates class, a long time participant arrived a few minutes late and whispered to me, “Why are we at the wall?” It was a valid question, considering that I had been teaching Pilates for a decade, primarily in a studio equipped with various apparatus like the reformer, wunda chair, and cadillac. But here I was teaching mat classes at the University without any of that equipment, not even a magic circle.

I had already incorporated other pieces of non-traditional equipment into the Pilates classes that I had access to like yoga blocks, straps, and blankets into my classes. But one day, I looked at the wall and had a lightbulb moment.

I had a thought that adding the wall could bring a fresh dimension to the Pilates exercises, infusing a touch of the studio experience into the Pilates mat class!

So I decided to experiment with using the wall and instantly fell in love with the combination. It was like the perfect blend of peanut butter and chocolate. A touch of magic without the need for a Pilates circle.

Since then, I’ve incorporated Wall Pilates into my teaching repertoire, both in-person, on YouTube, and within Membership & App. And even though I’ve been teaching Wall Pilates for a LONG time, over the past few months, these classes have become favorites. The wall assists us with certain Pilates exercises, offers valuable feedback on our form, and makes others movements more challenging in just the right way.

While I can talk about engaging the legs during exercises like leg circles or the hundred, sometimes pressing the feet into the wall allows us to truly feel that activation. It helps us move through our spines more fluidly during pelvic curls while providing added leg engagement. Suddenly, those exercises feel so much better, and we also experience a sense of support. 

Although Wall Pilates workouts are currently in high demand, and I enjoy them, I believe in the importance of consistency and variety in our Pilates routines. Just like I wouldn’t eat peanut butter and chocolate for every meal, it’s crucial to sprinkle in wall Pilates workouts alongside other Pilates classes. What I find most valuable about these sessions is that they serve as a learning tool, informing our movement patterns and enhancing our awareness in any Pilates class we attend.

So, embrace the wall Pilates trend, enjoy its benefits, but remember the fundamental principle: a well-rounded routine that combines consistency and variety will take your Pilates practice to new heights. 

If you want to give Pilates Wall Classes a try, explore the Membership & App, where you can access a wide range of Wall Pilates Workouts. Or move with a selection of Pilates Wall Workouts on YouTube.

I hope to see you on the mat soon for a Mat Pilates Class (with or without the wall).  

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