Most of us are already familiar with the regular squat exercise. We all know the benefits of it and how it can help you to get a perfect lower body structure. But what about the wall sits?
The wall sit is not so popular as the regular squats, but we should know how it is an effective exercise and how it can help you in improving your fitness.
What is Wall Sit
For those who don’t know, wall sit is an isometric exercise where you have to hold a seated position with your back leaning on the wall.
That means, you are not doing this exercise for the set number of repetitions, instead you are holding a static position and staying there for 30-60 seconds depending upon your strength.
One of the best things about this exercise is that you can do this anywhere, especially at home. You just need a wall or any vertical surface where you can lean on to and that’s it, you are good to go.
Benefits of Wall Sit
1. Burns a lot of calories
Wall sits are best, when it comes to burning calories. As you hold a static position where your quads hamstring, glutes, calves, abs, lower back, and many other muscles are working together.
In order to stay static, your body uses a lot of energy and thus making you burn more fat. So all those folks looking to burn fat, you can do this exercise.
There are some variations of wall sits I have shared with you, which will help you burn even more calories, so don’t forget to read that.
2. Builds lower body strength
Wall sits are great to build the strength of your lower body, especially your quads. As you perform this exercise, you will feel a burning sensation on those quadriceps which is a big front muscles of your leg.
This will also target your hamstrings, lower back, and core if you do it correctly. Overall, you will improve your lower body strength as you do this exercise regularly.
3. Increases muscular endurance
If you don’t know already, muscular endurance is the ability of the muscles to perform the task for a prolonged time. When it comes to wall sit, it helps to improve the muscular endurance of your legs and quads which is great for ADLs ( activities of daily living).
4. Improves posture
If you sit all the time and are sedentary, then your muscles slowly get weak, especially glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. With this exercise, you are targeting all those weaknesses, and this way, your posture will also start to improve.
5. Works the entire lower body
This exercise is not only for your quads but also for glutes, hamstrings and lower back which are the most important muscles of your lower body. It targets all these muscles which increase the strength of your lower body.
6. Convenient to do
This exercise can be done very easily without any need for equipment. You just need a wall which makes it a very convenient exercise.
You can also make it more challenging by adding some variations to wall sits which I have discussed later in this article. So overall its an easy and convenient exercise.
Always keep in mind that your form and technique should be right in order to get the most out of this exercise.
7. No equipments required
As mentioned before, you can do this exercise without any equipments. Many of us have access to a wall. You just need to place your back on the wall and hold a static wall sit position.
You can make this exercise challenging by raising your arms or legs while staying in a wall sit position. So even without equipments, you can increase the difficulty of the exercise.
8. Helps in weight loss
Isometric exercises like wall sit uses a lot of calories to stay in a static position. Due to this, you will find a lot of burn in your muscles and loose a lot of calories.
This way you can lose some extra pounds. But make sure that your nutrition is on point. Also remember, weight loss will happen gradually with the right nutrition and training. You can add a wall that sits along with other exercises and may lose fat.
Variations of Wall Sit
1. Wall Sit with Arm Circles
Difficulty level- High
This will work your entire body from upper to lower. If you are bored or don’t like to stay in a static position, then do this exercise.
Stay in a wall sit position and start lifting your hands up toward the wall. From there, move your hands down in a circular motion. You can use light dumbbells to increase the intensity.
2. Wall Sit with Arm Raises
Difficulty level- Moderate
Make this exercise work your upper body by raising your hands up while being in a wall sit position. You can also use dumbbells here.
Don’t bend your head forward as you raise your arms. Make sure to maintain a proper wall sit position.
3. Single Leg Wall Sit
Difficulty level- High
This variation is not recommended for beginners. With one leg raised up, this will make it very challenging and will burn your quads.
If you find wall it easier, then give it a try. You will love the intensity of this exercise. Make sure to not lose your form during this exercise.
4. Wall Sit with Shoulder Press
Difficulty level- moderate to high
You can combine many other exercises with wall sits. One example is a wall sit with shoulder press. This will burn more calories and help you in fat loss.
You can also include bicep curls, lateral raises, and many other exercises with wall sit. If you cannot do wall its, then don’t try these exercises because it won’t benefit you. Stitch with the basic wall sits.
5. Wall sit with resistance ball
Difficulty level- moderate
This is another great variation if you want to activate more hips and abductors. You can also do this before performing squats.
the resistance should be just above your knees. Make sure to squeeze your hips and abductors as you perform the exercise. Add this at the starting of your workout.
6. Wall sit march
Difficulty level- high (specially for beginners)
This will target each part of your leg separately. Make sure that as you match, you should try to use more glutes ( hips). Always squeeze your glutes during a movement.
It is also a good exercise to improve balance. So all your core muscles will work a lot during this exercise.
How to do a wall sit Correctly
Before performing any exercise you should know the right form and technique. I have seen many people doing the wall sit incorrectly. So let’s talk about the right way of doing wall sits.
- Place your back against the wall and stand with both feet forward and at about hip-width apart.
- Now slide yourself down to the sitting position such that your knees and hips are at a 90° angle.
- Your knee should be behind your toes. Keep your back flat on the wall and don’t bend your neck.
- Arms should be crossed over the chest or placed straight down in contact with the wall. For beginners, arms acrosss the chest would be a better option.
- Now hold this position for about 30-60 seconds. You can hold this for as long as you can.
- Come back to the starting position by sliding toward the wall and bringing your body up. Don’t slide down as it can injure your knees.
Common mistakes during wall sit
These are some of the mistakes which you might make while doing wall sits. Avoid them to prevent injuries and to get the most out of it!
Hips going too down
Keep in mind that your lower leg should be parallel to the ground. If your hips go too deep down, it will not be good for your knees. So stay parallel to the ground and not go further down.
Knees not behind the toes
Your knee should never pass your toe. It should always be either behind or in line with your toes. If your knee passes the toe, it will put unwanted stress on your knee joints which is not safe.
Weight on toes
The weight should not be on the toes because it will put more stress on the knees. Most of your weight should be on the mid foot. You can also shift the weight towards your heels but most of the time, it still stresses the knee. So try to put your load on the mid foot.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the force is evenly distributed to each part of your foot.
Falling down after completion
You don’t have to go down after completing the exercise. Your knees and legs are already sore at this time. So going down may lead to a knee injury
So rather than going down forcefully, slide up over the wall with the help of your back and push yourself up. This would be a much safer option than going down.
Your back and head should always be in contact with the wall. Don’t bend your neck. Keep the neck tucked in and back straight. This will engage your back and will help in improving your posture.
Some Common Questions
Are wall sits good for knees?
Wall sits will help you to improve the strength of your muscles close to the knee joint. If done correctly, you will not hurt your knees. Wall sits can help you in improving the strength of your knees but make sure that you do not overdo it.
People having arthritis, osteoporosis or any other related conditions should always consult their physicians and other professionals before doing this exercise. It’s not recommended to hold a static position for people with chronic conditions.
Wall Sits Vs Squats- What’s the difference?
Wall sit is an isometric exercise where you hold a static position for a prescribed number of time. Wall sits are great for those who have trouble in going deep during squats.
Squat is an isotonic exercise where you use both concentric and eccentric loading to perform the movement. All free weight exercises are isotonic just like squats. Here you do not hold a static position like wall sits.
How to make wall sits easier?
You don’t have to hold on for up to 60 seconds. You can also do some subsequent sets and combine it to make a total of 60 seconds.
That means if let’s say you want to do wall sit for 60 seconds, then you can do 4 sets of 15 seconds hold rather than a complete 60 seconds hold.
If you find it difficult to hold a lower position which is quite difficult for some, you can do wall sits with an angle greater than 90° from the knees.
Slowly after a few weeks, start going a little deeper than before. This way you can start progressing with this exercise.
Do wall sits build muscle?
you have to understand that in order to build muscle you need to progressively overload the muscle by increasing the intensity or the volume of the exercise.
When it comes to wall sit, it will help you to build muscle. But make sure that you are gradually progressing by increasing the time of hold and also challenging with some wall sit variations which I discussed with you before.
All this will lead to muscle growth if planned properly.
With so many other exercises out there, wall sit is a great isometric exercise which we can do anywhere. We can challenge it with various other variations which we discussed in this article. So now its time for you to start doing wall sits and its variations for strengthening your lower body.
If you found this article helpful then please share it with your friends and relatives who are interested in these topics. Also, share your views about the wall sit in the comment section below.
Roshan Pillai is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer with more than 6 years of experience in lifting weights and guiding people to get fit. He has worked as a personal trainer in gyms and is the owner and editor of fitnessproworkout.com. He is passionate about fitness and helping people to get in shape.