Yes, yes, wall sits are pretty straight-forward. But in order to reap the benefits and not stress your knees, you need to watch your form. Let’s break it down into simple steps, starting with just the wall, and then show you how you can add a stability ball and upper body exercises to make them even more challenging!
Wall sits, also known as wall squats, build strength and endurance in your glutes, calves, and quadriceps (front of the thigh). If your legs start quivering while you’re holding position, you’re probably in the sweet spot! Note: You can always modify your sit to a lesser angle and work your way toward a longer hold and deeper sit. If you feel knee pain, however, stop immediately and consult your doctor or a certified trainer.
How to Do a Proper Wall Sit
- Make sure your back is flat against the wall.
- Set your feet about shoulder-width apart and then about 2 ft out from the wall.
- Slide your back down the wall, bending your legs until they’re in a 90 degree angle—or as close as you can get! Your knees should be directly above your ankles, but no more forward.
- HOLD your position, while contracting your abs.
- Stand slowly, while leaning against the wall, when done.
Modification: If you are uncomfortable or unable to hold a wall sit at a 90-degree angle, don’t slide as far down. Instead, go for a 45 or 30-degree angle between your thighs and torso. You can also reduce the time of your hold, and work your way up.
Add a Stability Ball
- Stand with your arms by your sides and a ball positioned between your lower back and a wall.
- Squat down, lowering your body toward the floor and rolling your back along the ball.
- Push through your heels to return to start position.
Uni Wall Squat
- Stand on one foot, holding dumbbells (optional) at your sides, with the ball positioned in your lower back, level against a wall.
- Squat down, lowering your body toward the floor, and roll your back along the ball.
- Push through your heel to return to the start position, keeping one foot raised throughout.
Add Upper Body Exercises
Just holding extra weight will increase the intensity of your sit! Then, adding movements can make it even more complex.
Wall Squat Lat Raise
- Stand with your back against a wall, holding dumbbells by your sides.
- Slide your back down the wall, coming into a squat position, bending at the hips and knees and keeping the dumbbells at your sides, with your arms straight.
- Raise the dumbbells up and outward to the sides, to shoulder height, bending at the elbows.
Wall Squat Press
- Stand with your back against a wall holding dumbbells by your sides.
- Slide your back down the wall, coming into a squat position, bending at the hips and knees and keeping the dumbbells at your sides with your arms straight.
- Raise the dumbbells up and outward to the sides to shoulder height, keeping your arms straight or with a slight bend at the elbows.
Wall Squat Curl
- Stand leaning on a ball against a wall, positioned in your low back, holding dumbbells at your sides.
- Squat down, lowering your body toward the floor, rolling your back along the ball, keeping your arms straight by your sides.
- Raise the dumbbells up to shoulder height, bending at the elbows, finishing with your palms facing forward.