I tried doing wall Pilates for 10 days. Here’s my honest opinion, as someone who works out nearly every day

The viral workout promises improved strength, increased flexibility, and better posture—does it deliver?

Fitness writer Daniella Gray doing reverse pigeon wall Pilates move at home
(Image credit: Future)

Wall Pilates has been around for a while but it remains ever-popular, with a new workout cropping up on TikTok every week. It promises the same benefits as standard Pilates—a stronger core, better balance, and improved strength—but it doesn't cost a penny and requires no equipment.

The practice is similar to standard mat-based Pilates, but you use a wall to support you or provide resistance. For example, you might do a wall-based push-up to make the move easier, or you might push your feet against the wall during an exercise to add some resistance.

I like the idea of boosted flexibility and strength, but as someone who works out five times a week, I'm skeptical about whether or not wall Pilates can have a real impact on my body.

I decided to try this 10-day challenge from Flow Beautifully, which is free and taught by 500-hour certified instructor Gaby Noble. Here's how I got on.

Gaby Noble
Gaby Noble

Gaby Noble is the founder of award-winning Pilates studio Exhale Pilates London. She is a 500-hour certified Pilates instructor, who enjoys helping clients become stronger and more flexible.

The 10-day wall Pilates challenge

  • Day 1: 20-minute workout for abs, inner thighs, glutes and legs
  • Day 2: 20-minute full-body workout
  • Day 3: 10-minute full-body workout
  • Day 4: 20-minute full-body workout
  • Day 5: 10-minute gentle wall yoga for stress relief
  • Day 6: 20-minute workout with a mini ball
  • Day 7: 20-minute wall Pilates x yoga workout
  • Day 8: Back to day one to repeat the class
  • Day 9: Repeat your favourite class
  • Day 10: 25-minute full-body workout

What I liked

Fitness writer Daniella Gray practicing dolphin plank wall Pilates move at home

(Image credit: Future)

You can do it anywhere

Space is limited in my flat, but wall Pilates doesn’t require much room. Some high-intensity home workouts force you to jump all over the room; with wall Pilates, you stay within the diameter of your mat.

Even if you find there’s no spare space on the walls in your home, you can still get a good session using a door or sturdy wardrobe for support.

It's a restorative practice

I felt both relaxed and energized for the day ahead after doing my daily wall Pilates workout, even if it was just 10 minutes. Embracing the slower, restorative moves made me aware of my mind-body connection. Plus, using the wall helped me deepen some of the stretches and improved my range of motion.

The one thing I didn't like

Fitness writer Daniella Gray demonstrating a wall sit as part of a wall Pilates routine

(Image credit: Future)

I didn't see any cardio or strength gains

I'm a keen runner and regularly work out with weights, so I wasn't surprised when I didn't feel challenged by this routine. It didn't raise my heart rate and although some moves engaged my muscles, I didn't feel like they provided sufficient stimulus to increase my strength.

This might not be the case for beginners, but I certainly don't think I could switch my weights sessions for wall Pilates if I want to keep making gains.

Even Noble says that wall Pilates should be an addition to studio Pilates workouts: "There are a lot of ways to modify Pilates, so you can enjoy the practice for free. However, this will never replace the experience of using apparatus in a studio. The benefit of spring resistance, equipment to provide correct alignment, and qualified teachers who can give feedback will minimize the risk of getting injured and enhance your results.”

I plan on continuing my current gym and cardio plan, but I might turn to wall Pilates when I'm traveling and need an equipment-free option to limber up my body.

Wall Pilates moves to try at home

If you want a wall Pilates taster, Noble has suggested the following two moves to try at home. The first can help release spinal tension; the second will fire up your lower-body muscles and work your shoulder mobility.

Wall-assisted shoulder roll-downs

  • ⁠Lay on your back, and place your feet on the wall, with your knees over your hips, so that your knees are bent and your calves are roughly parallel to the floor, with your feet slightly higher than your knees. ⁠
  • Inhale as you press into the wall with your feet and lift your hips into a bridge position. 
  • Keep your abs and glutes connected as you hold for three to five seconds and exhale as you roll the spine and hips back down. ⁠Repeat three to five times.

Wall squat with arm lifts

  • Stand straight and upright, and press your back into the wall. Walk your feet out in front of you, hip-width apart. ⁠
  • Slide your back down the wall and come into a wall squat with your knees bent and ankles under your knees. ⁠Think about digging your heels down and pushing the floor away with your feet, so that the back of your leg muscles fire up.
  • Keep your gaze open and lifted. Lift your arms out in front of you then up overhead and back down against the wall, in a circular motion. Keep your abs drawn in, squeeze your core muscles tight and maintain contact between your lower back and the wall. 
  • Reverse the movement and repeat.

Daniella Gray is an experienced health and wellbeing writer, and was an Editorial Assistant and Senior Content Writer at Health & Wellbeing magazine, where she got to explore her love of food and fitness. She holds a degree in Print Journalist from Nottingham Trent University and a NCTJ qualification.