Lean Muscle

Wall Sits – A Complete Exercise Guide to Build Stronger Legs


Wall-Sits aka Static Squats are different from regular squats and half squats in a way that they work in a limited range of motion and help you strengthen your lower body which you may find difficult with squats when you suffer from lower back pain. Wall-sits are certainly real quad burners. If you’re not doing this simple yet effective lower body exercise, then you are probably missing out an opportunity of building those strong legs. Here’s your complete exercise guide to Wall-Sits:

Exercise: Wall-Sits

Primary Muscles Targeted/Muscle Worked: Thighs/Quads

Secondary Muscles Targeted: Hips/Glutes and Hamstrings

Equipment required: None

Repetitions: Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds followed by a brief rest of 45 seconds. Repeat the exercise for at least three times.

Wall Sit Exercise Description:

The wall-sit, also known as a static squat, is performed by placing one’s back against a wall with feet shoulder width apart, and lowering the hips until the knees and hips are both at right angles. The position is held as long as possible. The exercise is used to strengthen the quadriceps. Contrary to previous advice in this section, this exercise is NOT good for people with knee problems because the knees bear most of the load, especially when they are held at right angles (90 degrees).

How to do a Wall-Sit:

  • Begin by standing with your back against the wall and your feet placed at shoulder width and about two feet away from the wall.
  • Lean towards the wall until your back is flat against it.
  • Slowly slide your back down the wall until your knees are in straight alignment with your ankles. In this position, your hips and knees will be bent at a right angle.
  • Keep your torso upright and abs sucked in. Make sure that your weight is evenly distributed on your feet.
  • Hold the position for at least 30 seconds. Breath slowly, keep your upper body tight and press your back against the wall.
  • When done right, you will feel a kind of burning sensation in your quads. If you feel any sort of pain around your knees, stop the exercise immediately.

Benefits of doing Wall-Sits:

  • Wall-sits exercise is a good way to test your lower body endurance specifically in quads, hamstrings and glutes. It also helps in building up lower body strength.
  • You can do it anywhere. All you need is a blank wall and no other equipment.

Wall-Sits Variation for Beginners:

Wall-Sits exercise is basically for intermediate to advanced athletes. Beginners may have to look forward to making some modification to get going with the exercise and avoid any sort of injury. Here are couple of variations you can try:

  • Instead of sliding down all the way to a right angle, go for the 45-degree angle at hips to decrease the intensity of the exercise. Once you find yourself quite strong in this position or the 45-degree angle is no longer challenging, go forward and shoot for a perfect right angle.
  • Another modification that you can try is reducing the total hold time to 5-10 seconds. And then gradually increase the time in coming sessions.

Wall-Sits Variation for Intermediate Athletes:

When have become strong enough to touch 60 seconds mark without much trouble on basic wall sits, it’s the time to do this modification:

  • Grab 10 lbs dumbbells in each hand as you position yourself in the basic wall-sit exercise.
  • Make sure that your arms are straight on the sides and aligned against the wall.
  • Alternatively, you can raise your both hands in the front.

Wall-Sits Variation for Advanced Athletes:

Keeping in mind that you have now become a PRO at Wall-Sits exercises, here’s your final challenge:

  • Instead of holding a position where you have both feet on the ground, try and hold the same wall-sit position with one of your leg extended right in front of you.
  • Repeat the same with another leg.
  • Avoid this variation if you have injured or weak knees.

Tell us in comments how do you make your Wall-Sits challenging? Which modifications do you do to make it difficult?  For more exercise guides and tips, subscribe to MyFitFuel Blog. 

Also published on Medium.

Tags : exercise guideWall-Sits
MFF Terminator

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