Unsteady on your feet? How wall Pilates can help prevent falls

Wall Pilates can improve your balance and you posture – try it now with this free easy video.

Pilates has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 12 million people practising regularly. The low-impact exercise, most commonly practised on a mat, helps strength, posture and flexibility, particularly among older people.

But what if you’re interested in trying Pilates but struggle to get on the floor or are worried about your balance? That’s where wall Pilates comes in. This modified version of Pilates uses a wall or other surface for support and resistance.

To find out more, we spoke to Pilates instructor Rachel Lawrence, who also shared her free 10-minute wall Pilates video so you can give it a go.

A bearded man doing a wall sit as part of a wall Pilates routine with french doors to the side of himCredit: Shutterstock / stockfour

What is wall Pilates?

Using a wall for extra support

Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise normally performed standing, on a cushioned mat or using a reformer machine. It involves low impact precise movements which focus on strength, posture, balance and flexibility. Wall Pilates simply adds an extra surface to the workout.

Lawrence is a Pilates instructor and has more than 200,000 subscribers to her Girl with the Pilates Mat free YouTube channel.

She says: “Anyone can do Pilates, no matter what your age or level of fitness, but wall Pilates is even more accessible. It is a perfect workout for anyone starting out as the wall is there to stabilise you if your balance is a bit shaky or you are lacking in core strength.”


What is wall Pilates good for?

Great for improving balance and flexiblity

Many people start Pilates due to back pain but research shows its benefits are far more wide-ranging especially as we get older. These include improved posture, balance, flexibility and strength. Scientists also found it can reduce the risk of falls if practised regularly.

Lawrence says: “As we age we tend to get weaker in the upper back muscles, women in particular are also prone to kyphosis – a curving of the spine that causes a bowing or rounding of the back.

“Women are also in danger of osteopenia and osteoporosis, so strengthening the postural muscles is vital and you can do that using this simple wall workout.

“Like all Pilates, there are ways to adapt exercises to work for you and with wall Pilates I have created a whole set of standing exercises, which are really effective if you struggle to get down to the floor. They’ll improve your balance, coordination, standing strength and posture.”

Wall Pilates for beginners video

Try this free 10-minute video

To get started all you need is a sturdy surface, such as a wall and comfortable clothes you can move in.

Lawrence has a 10-minute free video which is designed to help improve posture and is an easy introduction to wall Pilates.

“It is a great tool to have at hand and all you need is a clear wall – and you don’t even have to get down on the floor,” she says.

Anyone can start, but Lawrence recommends that if you do have any health concerns you speak to your doctor before beginning any new form of exercise.

Phillipa Cherryson

Written by Phillipa Cherryson she/her


Phillipa Cherryson is a senior editor for Saga Exceptional. Phillipa has been a journalist for 30 years, writing for local and national newspapers, UK magazines and reporting onscreen for ITV.

Her passion is outdoor fitness. She’s a trainee mountain leader; an Ordnance Survey Champion; she organises walks and instructional events for South Wales members of online community the Adventure Queens and she’s vice chair of the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Local Access Forum.

She hated sports at school and only started getting the fitness bug as she reached her 50s. Now she loves mountain walking, trail runs, e-biking, paddleboarding and climbing. She also loves cake.

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