The wall sit exercise is aimed at strengthening the hamstring muscles. In this form of exercise, the body forms two right angles against the wall. The first right angle is formed at the hip while the second right angle is formed at the knees. The person performing the wall sit exercise does this by placing their back against the wall. After putting the back against the wall, they gradually lower their hips until it gets to a point where the knees are in a right-angled position to the wall.
This exercise is a very intense one that aims to build the hamstring muscles, and it can prove to be very difficult for persons performing this exercise to do it for an extended period. Wall sit exercise is performed by people in all kind of sports including calisthenics.
Because of it’s tough and intense nature, it is usually administered as a form of punishment, especially in the armed forces. This is because the exercise does not take too much space and can be administered quite easily to erring soldiers.
This exercise can pose the risk of a potential injury, especially to people who already have an existing knee problem. This is because, as the knees bend, most especially at a right angle to the wall, it bears most of the load of the exercise. One great thing about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere since you only need a wall to begin performing the intense exercise.
How to perform the wall sit?
The wall sit exercise should not be confused with squat exercises. This is because unlike the squat exercise which requires continuous up and down movement, the wall sit exercise employs holding on to a static position for a certain period. Let us consider how a proper wall sit workout should be carried out.
Place your back straight against the wall while standing
To successfully perform this exercise, you must get the first step right as failure to do this can affect the results you will get. To do this, begin by standing straight against a wall. Then place your back on the wall while still maintaining that straight posture. Once you are done, you can follow the next step.
Extend your feet with the length of your thigh in front of you
Once you are standing straight with your back against the wall, gently extend your feet about two feet in front of you. After extending your feet forwards, make sure that far apart. Preferably, some 6 inches apart from each other. When your feet are apart with 6 inches between them, it enables the weight of your body to balance equally on your legs before starting the wall sit exercise.
Slide down gradually with your back against the wall
With your legs extended forward and separated some 6 inches apart, gently slide down on the wall while your back is still against the wall. Ensure that you slide down until your knees are at a right angle (90°) to the wall.
Make sure that your thighs are parallel to the floor. To understand this better, position your body on the wall in such a way that it would seem you are sitting down on an invisible chair.
The knees should be above the ankles, but should not extend past the position of the ankle. This exercise helps to strengthen the hamstring muscles (found at the back of the thigh) and the quadriceps muscles (located at the front of the thigh), and it also prevents knee damage. The hamstring and quadriceps muscles help in performing daily activities like walking or standing. So, it would be easier if tour legs are in good shape.
Hold the position for a minute
After getting the position right, maintain the position for about a minute. After 20 seconds, you can begin to start feeling the strain on your thigh. However, we advise that you hold on there till the full one-minute duration elapses.
Return to the standing position on the wall
After the full 60 seconds elapses, return to a standing position in the wall while leaning against the wall. Get a brief rest for like 30 seconds and repeat the process all over again. Try attempting the wall sit five times, 60 seconds each time.
Preferably, continue the exercise until you become tired or fatigued. However, if your trainer gives you a specified number of sit at a given time length, it is best you follow their instructions to get started.
Change the angle of the knees
When you get used to the technique of the wall sit, you can further increase the intensity to achieve more result by sliding your back a bit further down the wall a few inches. When this is done, you can still lower your back a few inches again.
For a more advanced wall sit technique, you can decide to intensify the workout by placing a medicine ball between your knees as you slide down or by using dumbbells. You can also choose to perform the wall sit by doing the marching wall sit variation or by using a resistant band.
BENEFITS OF THE WALL SIT EXERCISE
It works the whole lower body
This wall sit exercise requires several muscles and joints to work together. It builds the lower part of the body (the hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps). This promotes muscle endurance of the lower body.
When performing the exercise, after about 15 seconds, you start to feel the effect of the exercise, causing the heart rate to increase. This increased heart rate causes more calories to burn. This improves the cardiovascular system and gives a boost to the body’s metabolism.
Increases muscle endurance
The wall sit exercise does not build muscle mass. Instead, it aims to provide endurance for your muscles. This makes this exercise excellent to start getting ready for the more heavy static holds!
Hate it or love it?
The wall sit exercise is an excellent exercise for you, especially if you intend to build your lower body. It also strengthens your lower body to help you run better and for a longer duration. Are you familiar with the wall-sit and how much do you love or hate it? Let us know in the comments below.