Wall sit exercise is one of the marmite exercises in the fitness industry depending on who you speak to, strength and conditioning coaches generally don’t like it while physical therapists generally speaking will like the exercise.

Used correctly in a balanced program, for specific goals, wall sit exercise can be a handy exercise irrespective of your age, you do not need any specialised equipment and can be done anywhere as long as you have a sturdy wall.

It is a variation of traditional squats with the obvious difference being there is no movement through the full range of movement but rather the position is held statically in one position. One of the benefits of the exercise it can be tailored to reflect the level of your personal conditioning and there is not mayor technique considerations as with a full range dynamic squat.


 The basic exercise set up;

1) Stand against a wall with hips and shoulders making contact with it.

2) Slowly walk forward with your feet while keeping the hips and shoulders in contact with the wall, let your back slide down the wall.

3) Keep going until your hips and knees are bent at 90 degree angles and feet around hip width apart.

4) Your knees should not extend past your ankles. Once at the bottom the position is held static for a certain time normally between 20 to 60 seconds depending on the level of fitness of the person doing it.

To modify the exercise and gradually build up strength and endurance of the muscles start by sliding down only half way and it becomes easier gradually get the hips lower down also play around with the time the position is held, start of with short times and as you improve hold the position longer periods.

It is a great way to work your glutes, quads, hamstrings and lower leg especially if you have a knee injury or using as part of a sport specific program. Controlling the force or tension of the exercise is done easily by how deep you go down into the sit and how long you hold the sit at the bottom.

The exercise can be used in isolation for the purpose of rehabilitation or if it is used as part of a specific condoning program like that for skiing. To get the best results from the exercise it should be used in conjunction with other exercises like walking lunges or other leg exercises.

wall sit exercise_2The primary benefits of wall sit are;

1) Building up isometric strength after a knee operation as part of the knee rehabilitation process on the road back to full functional activity.

2) Any sport that relies on being in a position of hip and knee flexion for extended periods of time like skiing will benefit from doing walls quads as part of their conditioning program pre season.

3) The exercise could be effective in increasing gradual force through the skeletal system with people suffering from osteoporosis.

4) Finally in the elderly it could be effectively used in strengthening the lower body to increase or maintain strength to help them get up and sit down on chairs.

Connect here with WatchFit Expert Henry van der Walt

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