Wall sits work wonders for building strength and endurance in your quads, glutes, and calves.
Although wall sits seem pretty simple, they are one exercise many people get wrong.
Keep reading to learn how to do the perfect wall sit, variations, and mistakes to avoid!
The right way to do a wall sit is:
- Start with your back against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart, roughly 2 feet from the wall.
- Engage your abdominal muscles and slowly slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Adjust your feet so that your knees are directly above your ankles.
- Tuck your pelvis to keep your back flat against the wall.
- Hold this sitting position for 20 seconds to 1 minute.
- Slowly slide back up the wall and return to a standing position.
Things to Avoid
Thighs NOT parallel to the ground
During a wall sit, you should aim to get your legs in a position where your thighs are parallel to the floor. At first, you may need to hold your thighs at a less intense angle as you work on building strength in this position. But do not go so low that your thighs are angled higher.
Knees extended past your ankles
Avoid letting your knees pass your ankles. The knees should be directly over your ankles. Once they extend past that point, you're using more of your calf muscles than quads, making it more difficult to hold your wall sit.
Putting the weight on your toes
You should feel the weight in your heels, not your toes. Keep your heels on the ground and focus on shifting your weight back into your heels while pressing your back into the wall to avoid feeling off-balanced.
Sliding down to finish
At the end of your wall sit, push your heels into the floor, and slide back up the wall to a standing position. If you slide down and finish sitting instead, this will put more stress on your knees, which could lead to injury.
Add a Yoga Ball
If the wall is uncomfortable, you may find that adding a yoga ball between your back and the wall makes it more comfortable.
This modification may require you to modify your positioning or the exercise duration to complete it. But modifications like this are a great way to build strength as you work up to a standard or more challenging wall sit.
Try a Single-Leg Wall Sit
Progress this move to a single-leg wall sit to challenge your balance and work more muscles!
From the wall sit position, extend one leg out in front of you, and hold it up off the floor. Be sure your thighs remain parallel to the floor and keep your knees directly over your ankles while you perform a single-leg wall sit!
Incorporate wall sits into your next lower body-focused workout or at the end of a cardio session!