August 01, 2022 9 min read
It doesn't matter if you are new to the gym or have spent years amongst heavy gym equipment. You have probably been introduced to wall sits at some point and may have even shied away from performing this incredible exercise because the wall sit is known to set quads on fire.
The wall sit is one of those exercises that has stuck around for years.
It is a popular choice amongst athletes and bodybuilders for building core, ab, and leg strength.
Also known as a wall squat, a wall sit is a painfully intense exercise and whoever came up with this activity has a lot of explaining to do. This unique, static exercise will have your knees buckling and thighs on fire in no time.
It is characterized by an athlete mimicking a sitting position while their back is flat against the wall and their glutes hang mid-air.
Before you scoff at what looks like a simple exercise, you should probably try performing it and lasting 30 seconds.
This will undoubtedly change your mind, but in the long run, your legs will thank you for this.
The wall sit is a popular activity in sports that require leg strength because of its unique ability to strengthen the posterior chain by building isometric strength in the quads, glutes, hams, and calves.
The wall sit is straightforward and easy to learn.
Your ability to master this exercise hinges on your ability to hold correct form throughout your sets. Heads up- your legs will quiver at the end of this article.
If the wall sit is as difficult as everyone claims, why do people even bother? Wall sits do not provide diminishing returns; every ounce of energy you invest in this exercise goes towards the greater good of your legs.
Wall sits might look like a simple exercise to practice, but what’s even more simple is fixing this exercise on your workout routine.
When doing the wall sit, your body forms two right angles; one at your hip and another at your knees.
Gravity and your body weight come into play, and your muscles are loaded isometrically as your muscles contract in that static position.
What happens at that moment is that even without movement, your quad muscles are activated to a mind-boggling degree.
Although the wall sit is a quad-dominant exercise, your abs, glutes, knees, hams, calves, adductor muscles, and core are equally activated.
These muscles are significant muscles that help you navigate functional and sports activities:
Your quads are the bulk of large fleshy muscle on the front and sides of your thigh bone. Although this muscle is often spoken of as one lump of muscle, it is made up of 4 intricate muscle heads. Together, these muscles make moments like walking, running, jumping, and even standing possible.
Your quads need all the help they can get since they contribute to the bulk of the movement that takes place with your legs.
Strengthening your quads is an excellent way not only to increase the aesthetics of your physique but also increase the performance and endurance of your leg muscles.
Your glutes equally receive attention during the wall sit. Glutes do more than increase your physique. The strongest and longest muscle group in your body, glutes, are located on the back of your hips.
Commonly known as the butts, your glutes are made up of three muscles, namely the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus. Together, these muscles help you to maintain stability and a perfect posture.
Your glutes are engaged during wall sits as they allow you to maintain balance.
The hamstrings are located on the back of your thighs. They are activated when your legs are straight and your knees are bent.
The hamstring is a crucial posterior muscle of three muscles that help maintain an erect position, bend your knees, and move about.
Since your knees are bent when doing the wall sit, your hand are activated, although to a lesser degree than your quads. This helps to strengthen and tone them.
Your adductor muscles are equally activated during the wall sit. Your adductors are three vital muscles present in your thigh, namely the adductor longus, adductor brevis, and adductor magnus.
These muscles help in squeezing your thighs together and flexing or rotating your legs.
The wall sit might not provide the intensity that exercises like burpees do, but it is highly effective for training the body's major muscle groups.
Although it might not look like it, the wall sit also engages and strengthens your abs.
There is no movement, but your ab muscles receive isometric contractions that strengthen and grow the fibers.
Strengthening your abs provides you with an impressive six-pack layer. It also helps to stabilize your torso, prevent lower back pain, and maintain a perfect posture.
Everything you do involves your upper body and, by default, your ab muscles. Walking, bending, leaning, and even lifting objects require the activation of your ab muscles.
Core strength is a functional feature that allows you to navigate daily and sporting activities.
Core muscles sit deep beneath the abs and spine and are attached to the spine and pelvis. Your core performs various functions that range from protecting the spine to regular postural movements, and it also helps you to maintain balance.
Your core muscles remain engaged throughout the performance of a wall sit, helping you balance and maintain stability.
The benefits you stand to gain from doing a wall sit for a few minutes daily no doubt out ways the pain. The wall sit is a welcome break from exercises that include a lot of movements.
It helps you bridge the gap in your strength that would otherwise have been left to lay dormant. A wall sit is a welcome addition to any gym enthusiast or an athlete's full-body workout.
Some of the benefits of wall sit include:
To get maximum benefits of doing the wall sit, you need to focus on doing it with proper form. While wall sits are excellent competitive exercises to figure out who has the best personal record, the effects of wall sits are futile with lousy form.
To perform wall sits:
The wall sit can be done by standing against a wall and walking your feet out. If you are not comfortable with the deep squat, you can settle for a 30-degree or 45-degree wall sit. This would help you to practice maintaining good form for deeper wall sits.
The regular wall sit is good enough, but if you want to spice up your routine, you can consider tweaking a feature or two of the conventional wall sit.
Once you are comfortable holding the traditional wall sit for a long time, check out any of these wall sit variations:
The stability ball wall sit is a splendid modification for people who struggle with balance and posture. It is often used as a rehabilitation exercise for people struggling with knee problems as it strengthens the knees.
To do the stability ball wall sit:
Also known as the one-legged wall sit, the single-leg wall sit is a quad burner. It is the perfect wall modification choice if you are up for a bit of a challenge.
The single-leg wall sit further challenges your balance, stability, stamina, and endurance by making you balance on one foot while performing a wall sit. The single-leg wall sit is a unilateral exercise. This makes it a splendid way to point out and fix muscle imbalances in your legs.
To do the single-leg wall sit:
Increase the load on your muscle by holding a weighted piece of equipment while performing a wall sit. The weighted wall sit can be done with a dumbbell, kettlebell, weighted plate or even medicine ball. It is a great way to increase the activation of your abs and core muscles.
To do the weighted wall sit:
The name of this variation is a dead giveaway of what it has in stock for you. The wall sits with bicep curls is a splendid way to add a little action to your regular wall sit. The wall sit with bicep curls helps you train your biceps and pecs while further loading your core muscles. It is a very demanding, advanced full-body exercise.
To do the wall sit with bicep curls:
The regular wall sit and its modifications are a great way to work on your major muscle groups. It helps you build strength and tone your body, providing you with a win-win benefit. While wall sits might be difficult at first, it gets better as you get used to it.
To ensure that wall sits work for you, perform it correctly and work your muscles to fatigue. Couple your wall sit routine with other excellent exercises like the squat and its variations.