<> <>
Health Hub

Is wall pilates good for weight loss?

If you find strength training in the gym intimidating and running isn't for you, you could consider wall pilates for weight loss.

Is Wall Pilates Good for Weight Loss? | Juniper

When it comes to weight loss and leading a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise is one of the key elements.

It has major benefits for many aspects of physical health (especially when done alongside a balanced diet), and can also aid mental health and overall well-being. It can boost your mood, sleep quality, energy levels, and even your self-esteem [1].

However, finding the right fitness routine can be challenging, and you are much more likely to do a workout and stay active if you actually enjoy the type of exercise you're doing.

If you find strength training in the gym intimidating, and running or high-intensity classes aren't for you, you could consider wall pilates for weight loss.

It might sound surprising, but this low-impact workout (which has been going viral on TikTok recently) can actually offer serious results.

What is wall pilates?

Before we explain wall pilates, let's make sure we understand traditional pilates.

Pilates is a type of exercise that involves repetitive movements designed to improve strength, balance, flexibility and posture [2].

It is typically done on a mat, using your body weight or simple tools such as balls, light dumbbells and resistance bands, or reformer pilates is done on a machine.

The movements often feel easy to start with, but as positions are held and movements repeated over extended periods, it becomes extremely challenging.

You can work multiple muscle groups (such as core muscles, upper body, lower body and glutes) with pilates exercises and the workouts can be tailored to suit various fitness levels.

Wall pilates is a variation of the workout where you stand or lay — you guessed it — against a wall, which adds extra challenge to some exercises through resistance and gravity.

It can also make other exercises easier, which is great for beginners and can help with support, stability and alignment.

Wall pilates has had a surge in popularity recently thanks to TikTok, and the term now has more than 56 million views.

Many trainers and content creators post their workouts and wall pilates challenges on the app, and some share stories of how wall pilates has helped their weight loss efforts or improved their muscle tone.

What are the benefits of wall pilates?

There are a number of positive aspects of wall pilates. For one thing, it requires minimal equipment and is free, so can be done just about anytime, anywhere.

The workouts can also be adjusted to suit your core strength and various fitness levels, so wall pilates can be done by both beginners and more advanced practitioners.

In terms of health and fitness, wall pilates has similar benefits to other forms of pilates.

Pilates exercises help improve joint mobility and building muscle, improve body awareness, and can assist with injury prevention, and joint and muscle problems [3].

Wall pilates exercises, like traditional pilates, are a type of resistance training and can help build lean muscle mass and muscle tone. Pilates exercises can also support performance in other workouts and sports and can reduce your risk of injury [2].

Does wall pilates work for weight loss?

If TikTok videos are anything to go by, wall pilates seems like a magic pill for weight loss, with many video creators appearing to achieve significant weight loss after a 28-day challenge — but it's not really that simple.

Studies have found promising results in decreasing body fat mass and increasing lean body mass and core strength among women who have started doing pilates exercises after previously living a sedentary lifestyle [4].

If you're new to exercise, you will probably see results quite quickly when you start a new regime, particularly if you are improving your food intake as well.

However, as pilates is a low-impact exercise, whether it is an effective method for trying to lose weight will depend on how challenging the workout is.

As we've mentioned above, wall pilates exercises and workouts can be made very difficult or quite easy, so you need to make sure you are getting your heart rate up and working out for a minimum of 20 minutes to really see benefits.

Wall pilates is a type of strength training, so if done regularly alongside eating a healthy diet and other forms of exercise (such as walking, running, or training in the gym) it can support weight loss.

If you are increasing muscle mass, this can also reduce your body fat percentage and increase your metabolism, meaning your body burns more calories even when resting [5].

Does it burn stomach fat?

Many videos about wall pilates for weight loss videos promise to 'burn belly fat', 'flatten your stomach' 'sculpt 6-pack abs' but it is not quite that simple.

Wall pilates exercises can be excellent for building up your abdominal muscles and strength [6].

However, while it is possible to target particular muscles for growth and strength, it is not possible to 'spot reduce' for fat loss by focusing your training on one body part, and even the best wall pilates exercises can't make miracles happen [7].

What that means is when you are trying to burn calories or lose weight, you cannot choose which area you lose the weight from.

So no matter how many crunches you do, you might not be able to drop all belly fat or sculpt your body weight into a specific shape [8]. If you are trying to reduce belly fat or get a slim figure, this will only happen if you lower your entire body fat percentage.

If you are trying to lose a significant amount and would like further support with your weight loss goals, a programme like the Juniper Weight Reset could be beneficial.

The programme combines GLP-1 medication (developed and approved specifically for weight loss) with advice from qualified health coaches and support from a community of like-minded women.

GLP-1 medication slows your stomach emptying, suppresses your appetite and safely speeds up your metabolism — helping you to feel fuller for longer and burn more calories.

The clinically proven treatment resets the body's metabolic patterns for up to 20% weight loss in one year (depending on the medication you take), and the programme is designed to help you develop healthy habits that you can sustain for life.

Can you practise wall pilates every day?

Wall pilates exercises — like most traditional pilates exercises — are gentle enough that you could theoretically do them every day.

However, depending on the intensity of your workouts, you might be feeling quite sore afterwards.

Whether your goal is muscle growth, weight loss or improving strength and flexibility, it is important to give your muscles time to rest and recover [2].

Additionally, when you have weight loss goals, we would recommend combining wall pilates with other workouts for the best results.

One example of a workout schedule could be 2 days of wall pilates exercises, 2 days of cardio (such as swimming, running or brisk walking), and 2 days of strength workouts using weights.

5 beginner-friendly wall pilates exercises

When you first begin doing wall pilates exercises, it is important to practise regularly and gradually increase the length and difficulty of your workouts [2].

Below are some of the best wall pilates exercises for beginners.

If possible, we recommend doing them in front of a mirror when you first get started to make sure you have proper form. You might even want to attend a Pilates class in person if possible when you first get started!

1. Wall plank

There are several different types of wall plank. You can do them in a side plank position, with your feet on the wall, which helps with stability as you work your obliques.

You can also do them in a standing plank position, facing the wall. The further away your feet are from the wall (and the higher the angle) the more difficult this exercise will be.

2. Wall squats

In a standing position with your back flat against the wall and feet shoulder-width apart, lower yourself into a sitting position.

You can then either hold this position for 30-60 seconds or do 10-12 repetitions of a squat — if you have a small pilates ball, place this between your back and the wall.

3. Wall bridge

Lay on the ground with your feet against the wall and knees bent in a 90-degree angle. Then, squeeze your glutes and raise your hips toward the sky to create the bridge position.

You can either hold this or do 10-12 repetitions of the movement.

4. Wall push-ups

As you can probably guess, this is similar to a regular push-up. Instead of doing it facing the floor, you'll do it facing the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands on the wall.

You should be at an angle, with your feet further away from the wall than your hands, and you can adjust your incline to make this exercise more or less difficult.

5. Wall crunches

You might have done crunches in a workout before, but the wall can help with stability.

Laying on your back with your feet against the wall, place your hands on the back of your head and slowly curl your body up until your shoulders are lifted off the ground. Uncurl back to the starting position and repeat.

If you're feeling up to an extra challenge, you can also try wall bicycle crunches for an extra burn through your whole core.

If you have any injuries or underlying health concerns we recommend speaking to your healthcare provider before beginning a new workout regime.

After all, the best workout is the kind you can do safely and enjoy for a long time to come.

Image credit: Getty Images