This move has to be up there with one of the simplest yet effective moves on any personal trainers list of exercises. Not only does it require no equipment other than a wall, it can also be adapted to fit any fitness level by simply changing the time you perform the exercise, or trying one of the variations.
If you’ve ever carried out this move before (if you’ve been to a be.fit class or PT session you’ll have found it hard to have missed it!) then you’d be normal for asking yourself how can such a simple move cause so much pain. However with ski-season well and truly under way, and exercise regimes and healthier lifestyles in full swing at this time of year, it’s time to embrace the wall sit!
How to perfect the move
- Stand with your back against a wall and then gently slide down until your hips and knees are at right angles.
- Hold this position with your feet flat on the floor and your tummy pulled in and upwards. There should be no movement in you’re lower body.
- You should hold this movement until your legs start to shake or they become so tired that you have to slide down to sit on the floor, rather than being able to easily stand back up again.
be.fit tip: It may sound crazy but with isometric moves (where we contract the muscle against an equal resistance) we tend to hold our breath, so remember to keep breathing as you hold this position! If you suffer from high blood pressure then I’m afraid you’ll need to skip this exercise altogether until your GP has given their approval.
WALL SIT CHALLENGE
Why not set yourself a wall sit challenge – it’ll take no time at all to fit into your existing exercise regime or whilst you’re waiting for your dinner to cook. Start with a wall sit that lasts 10 seconds on day 1. As you progress through to day 15 add an extra 10 seconds each day. This would mean by day 15 you’d have perfected your wall sit to an impressive 150 seconds (2mins 30!). Not for the faint hearted but give it a go and see how far you get! If feeling extra fit why not make it a 30 day challenge…
Wall sit variations
- Hold a set of hand weights down by your sides, increasing your weight every couple of weeks to intensify the move.
- Holding a medicine ball out in front of you with your arms straight (just a small bend at the elbows), lift and lower the ball to your thighs and then up so it is level with your shoulders, giving you a great shoulder workout.
- Use a barbell or hand weights and perform a compound move such as an upright row to work the upper back and biceps
What muscles am I using?
Your upper leg muscles including your quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus maximus. Your lower leg muscles such as your gastrocnemius and soleus will come into play as the muscles act as stabilisers to hold the body in place.
Why not let me know how you got on with this move at the be.fit Facebook page or on twitter @befit_beyou