Wall sits are excellent for those looking to build strength in their quads and glutes. In addition, wall sits can also improve your balance and stability. With so many benefits, it's no wonder why this exercise is a go-to for many fitness enthusiasts!
However, you need to learn how to do wall sit exercises correctly because otherwise, you could be putting yourself at risk for injury. In this blog post, we'll cover the correct form for doing wall sit exercises and some variations you can try. Let's get started!
What is a Wall Sit?
A wall sit is an exercise where you get into a sitting position with your back straight against a wall and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. You then hold this position for as long as you can.
This simple yet challenging exercise can be performed almost anywhere, making it the right choice for those who want to get fit without going to the gym. Not only does it strengthen the muscles in your legs and lower body, but it also helps improve your balance and flexibility.
In addition, wall sits can also help improve your posture and reduce back pain. So next time you're looking for a quick and easy workout, remember that a wall sit can give you all of the benefits of a traditional gym workout without any hassle.
How to Do a Wall Sit Perfectly?
- With your feet shoulder-width apart and a few feet away from the wall, begin leaning against the wall with your back.
- Engage your abdominal muscles as you slowly lower yourself down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Ensure your knees are above your ankles and not over your toes.
- Your back must be fully straight against the wall.
- Hold the position for as long as you can (anywhere between 20 seconds to 60 seconds).
- Slide upward to go back to the starting position.
- That's one rep. Repeat as many times as you can comfortably.
Benefits of Wall Sits
This exercise works perfectly for the quadriceps muscles (muscles in the front of your thighs). Quads are not easy to isolate, and compound exercises are usually used to target and activate this muscle. With Wall sit-ups, you can easily isolate your front thighs for the sculpted look you've always wanted.
The wall sit is often used for gradually building leg strength for many activities like downhill skiing, ice hockey, track, and field, running, etc. It's simple, but it has awesome benefits for strengthening their posterior chain muscles.
If you are into running or other sports requiring sturdy hamstrings, you'd want to befriend wall sits. By strengthening quads, wall sits help keep leg muscles balanced and strong.
Wall sits effectively build muscular endurance, allowing athletes to delay fatigue and enhance their performance without doing anything extraordinary.
Most importantly, wall sits work wonders to enhance and improve your functional strength. With stronger quads (what you get to enjoy with wall sits), you can effortlessly and painlessly perform many important and indispensable tasks in life, even if they meant pain and discomfort before you started following the wall sits routine.
Wall Sit Variations
A simple wall sit is enough for beginners. If their goal is to strengthen their legs, this exercise is more than enough. It works on quads and conditions the legs and back overall for higher levels of endurance. However, many ways can help increase the challenge of wall sits. Here are a few ways you can up your wall sits game:
Ease the Hold Angle & Hold Time
If it's your first time at wall sits, you can go slow and relaxed before achieving the perfect parallel position to the ground. Instead of bending your legs at 90 degrees, initially, you can try being at 45 degrees. You can gradually build strength and flexibility by holding the 90-degree position correctly.
If you find 30 seconds of holding or more too challenging, you can always reduce your hold time to 20 seconds or below. The goal is not to do it for longer; you should focus on doing it with the right posture, even if that means doing it for less time.
Add an Exercise Ball
Adding an exercise ball to the classic wall sit is also a great way of easing the process to perfection. Try doing your wall sits with a supportive exercise ball under your buttocks before you can do it without support.
Weight training is the best method of strengthening muscles. You challenge them more when you add free weights to an exercise. Adding weights activates a muscle at a higher level, increasing the muscle built anew.
Add dumbbells to your wall sits and engage and build quads faster. Dumbbells will increase the intensity of the exercise by adding load to the move. You can even use resistance bands to add resistance to the workout. Resistance bands are easy on joints, yet they tone and strengthen like free weights.
Try a Single-Leg Wall Sit
You can advance to a single-leg wall sit to test your balance while working additional muscles. Start from the wall sit position, then extend one leg in front for a few seconds before returning it to the floor. Alternate legs, and ensure your thighs remain parallel to the ground and your knees are directly over your ankles.
Avoid These Mistakes
- You need to have your thighs parallel to the ground. Failing to do so will result in quads escaping the pressure and not building strength and endurance. You won't be able to reap the full benefits of the exercise.
- Not having your weight on your heels. Don't try to be on your tiptoes. You should be balancing yourself by straining the heels, not the toes.
- Your knees should never extend past your ankles. Your legs must be parallel to the ground, and your knees should be directly over your ankles. You'll miss your primary target, the quads, and the exercise's real purpose if they aren't.
- Wall sits simple and yet very effective, but they are not for those who have weak knees. It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the knees. That's why you shouldn't try it if you have existing knee issues. You must stop immediately when you feel pain in your kneecaps or knees.
1. Are 1-minute wall sits good?
Simultaneously engaging several muscles, toning your body, losing calories, and strengthening muscle—wall sits come with various benefits. In addition to helping with weight loss goals, wall sits also increase stamina and endurance while correcting posture issues.
2. Do wall sits burn belly fat?
Wall sits are a great way to engage and tone your abs, leading to eventual fat loss.
3. Do wall sits build size?
The key to building muscle in your legs is holding the wall sit or leg contraction for as long as possible. The longer the contraction, the more you'll stimulate the growth of new muscle fibers. Think of the wall sit as holding the bottom position of a squat — which is incidentally also the most challenging part of this exercise.
4. Are wall sits better than squats?
If you experience pain in your back while squatting or have an aching back, finding other ways to exercise your lower body might be beneficial. Wall sits can be a great option that is also safe.
A wall sit is a great way to work on your quads, hamstrings, and glutes all at once. The key to doing this exercise correctly is maintaining good form throughout the movement. Remember to keep your back against the wall, feet shoulder-width apart and about two feet away from the wall, and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. When you start, aim to hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
As you get stronger, increase the time you hold the position. There are also several variations of this exercise that you can try to target different muscle groups or increase the challenge with dumbbells. Be sure to warm up before attempting any new exercises, and it's also beneficial to visit a doctor if you have existing knee issues.