Pilates Exercises You Can Do at the Wall

Hey hey, here are my favorite go-to exercises using a wall! I would love for you to practice them with me while I explain how. When you’re watching they will look simple and easy but as you do them you’re going to feel a lot of strength and connection. And, when it’s over you should feel taller, stronger and more able to take on the day!

Try these exercises in the morning to set up for the day, at the office to get out of your chair and have a moment for yourself. Bonus points if you do it before you go to bed. Or, do all three! It should take only a few minutes.

I can’t wait to hear how these help you take time for yourself and feel better doing it!

xx-LL

Hello, I’m Lesley Logan and today I’m going to show you some exercises you can do anywhere. You can be at your home, office, in a hotel, at an airport (I love to do these at airports). They will help your posture, will help you feel like you got a workout in – and you can actually do this as many times as you want throughout the day, so it could become a movement meditation. All you need is a wall.

HUNDRED ON THE WALL

So, I’m going to stand – not all the way up against the wall with my heels – but bring my heels a little bit forward, and my sacrum (so my butt) is against the wall. You are pulling your stomach in, so you may lose the curve of your lower back – it’s OK for this because you’re fully supported.

Try not to lock your knees out. It’s very easy to hang out in your knees, we don’t want to do that. So, keep them soft if you’re a hyper-extender. And then the hard part is getting these low ribs against the wall. And you need to get your heart against the wall, and move your bun out of the way to get your head against the wall.

So your neck is off [the wall] and it’s going to feel like a double chin, but don’t worry because it’s a double chin that you want. You want to be pushing your occipital bone back. Once you can find that you’re going to take your arms to the side and we’re going to do the Hundred from the Mat here on the wall. So the Hundred on the Mat is an exercise that challenges your transverse abdominis.

So what you’ll do is pump your arms forward and back in front of your body to the wall. You’re going to feel a vertebrae or two want to pop on and off [the wall.] I’ve got one directly in the center, so I’m going to really find my center and my core (it’s hard when I’m talking) to keep that against the wall.

Keep reaching through my feet and out through the crown of my head. And what I feel is a lot of outer hips, hamstrings, inner thighs are working. The more I pump [I feel] my lower abdominals, upper abs are working. And you try to pump 100 pumps. It takes about a minute.

ROLL UP ON THE WALL

Then, you’ll do the Roll Up on the wall. This one is really kind (unlike the one on the floor.) So your arms come up and you’ll round forward. And you try to keep yourself articulating through your spine.

So I’m not going to push my back towards the wall and my shoulders forward to do this, instead I’m going to use my stomach to bend my spine and roll down. As I get further it gets harder. You really have to lift your low abs up so you don’t skip the articulation of your lower back.

That’s about as far as I can go, because any further then I would have to slide my butt behind me. So I’m going to get stuck here – and that’s good. Then lift your stomach, plant your vertebrae on the wall – my lower ribs like to skip that – and then lift your arms up. And do three to five of these.

If you do this in the morning, the afternoon and evening, you’ll be able to see at what point of the day your body gets tighter.

SINGLE LEG CIRCLES ON THE WALL

And now we’re going to challenge our glutes a little bit.

Take your arms back, keep your double chin, get your ribs in and then take one leg slightly forward. You’re going to want to slide, so make sure you stay hip over foot and draw circles, reaching your leg away from you. You’ll feel your inner thigh and your outer hip of the circling leg, and it should also feel really free. Like it could just dangle and circle. The standing leg, this glut is working a ton to keep me from falling over.

I like to do five circles in each direction. You’ll feel your body go side to side because you need way more strength in your center. So you’re using all your muscles, including your multifidus, to hold you up. So when you get away from the wall you can have good posture, right?

SINGLE LEG STRETCH ON THE WALL

After that you do your Single Leg Stretch against the wall. So, keeping your head and stomach against the wall, pull one knee in and slide that same leg down – my back wants to pop off the wall – so I’ve got to work more of my stomach.

Especially as your leg goes down, that’s when you have to encourage your abs to work more, because they’re going to want to let go because they don’t have to pull the leg in anymore.

So you’ll go back and forth, five to ten times on each side.

DOUBLE LEG STRETCH ON THE WALL

Finally, you’re going to do your Double Leg Stretch.

So your arms reach here, but you should have everything pulling in. Then you’re going to squat down he wall and grab your legs. Make sure your abs are in and then use your stomach to lift yourself back up.

So you’re kind of swimming up the wall and using your stomach, your hamstrings, glutes and inner thighs as you do your Double Leg Stretch.

WALL SITS

Finally, if you want to have a little bit more fun… you can separate your feet parallel, walk them out another step, then squat down and give yourself a wall sit.

Really stand in your feet, because you’re going to want to stand in your toes. Push those heels down, maybe even lift your toes up. Feel this in your hamstrings and your seat. And also push through your big toe, so once you’ve got the weight in your heels so you’re using your medial quad to hold you up.

Pull your stomach in, hold that for 30 seconds to a minute and then slide yourself back up.

GOAL POST ARMS ON THE WALL

Then, if you want to do a little more work for your posture – because obviously if you have good posture it just makes you look taller, leaner, stronger and more confident – take your arms like goal posts and put them against the wall. That immediately makes my ribs pop out, so I have to pull my abs in.

Your goal is to get your elbows with your hands against the wall, and keep your ribs there. And then slide your elbows down and back up. Sometimes this is called “I’s, Y’s, T’s” – I don’t really know why they’re called a “T”, but I get a “W”… There’s sort of a “Y” – And so you go up and down.

You’ll feel a big stretch across the front of your shoulders. You’ll feel all the muscles across your middle back working.

WHEN YOU STAND BACK UP

And then when you stand up, you’ve got this amazing posture. Your head’s back on top of your spine, your ribs are in, your abs are in, you’ve got these great glutes and you can take on your day.

Thank you so much for watching! I hope you try this at least one to three times per day, and then let me know how it goes and we can take all these exercises onto the Mat later for you.

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