Wall Sit Exercise – How To Do And What Are Its Benefits?

Effective exercises to help you strengthen your lower body and tone your glutes.

Reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, BPT
Written by Charushila Biswas, MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist
Edited by Ravi Teja Tadimalla, BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health
Fact-checked by Sindhu Koganti, BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach  • 

Wall sit exercises target glutes, thighs, lower abs, and calves. Performing wall sit exercises for just twenty minutes a day can help strengthen and tone your thighs, lower legs, and hips. They are a challenge but will also improve lower body muscle endurance and help burn belly fat. But you must know the correct form before you try these exercises (or you may risk injuring your lower back or the knees). Learn how to do the wall sit exercise correctly and its 10 variations. Performing them regularly can give you desirable results. Continue reading to learn more!

protip_icon Workout Blueprint: Wall Sit Exercise
  • Frequency: Daily
  • Benefits: Strengthens the lower body muscles, improves muscle endurance, and burns belly fat.
  • Equipment Needed: Training shoes, dumbbells, resistance band.
  • Space Required: Small area
  • Assistance Required: No
  • Who Should Avoid: Individuals with knee or lower back injuries.

What Do You Need To Do Wall Sit Exercise?

You need a few basic exercising props to do the wall sit exercise. Here’s the list:

  • Comfortable clothes
  • Training shoes
  • 5.5-pound dumbbells
  • Resistance band
  • A smooth wall to lean against

Like any other exercise, the wall sit exercise should be done with precision for it to work. So, here’s a step by step representation of how a wall sit exercise should be done.

How To Do Wall Sit Exercise

Step 1

Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground. This is your starting position.

Step 2

Engage your core and put your feet forward. Go down as you do so, and keep leaning against the wall. Your feet should be 6 inches apart.

Step 3

Slowly slide down the wall with your back pressed against it until your legs are bent at a right angle. This angle is very crucial because if your thighs are not parallel to the ground, your muscles will not get a good workout. Ensure your knees are directly above the ankles and do not overshoot them.

Step 4

Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Gradually, increase the hold time to 60 seconds.

Step 5

After you finish the last rep, come back to the starting position.

Step 6

Do 3 sets of 10 reps or follow your trainer’s instructions.

A blogger shared her experience of taking up a 30-day wall sit challenge. Even though she found it challenging in the beginning, it became easier as she got stronger and more used to the exercise. She also recommends trying to do it a few times a day in the beginning. She writes, “When I first started the practice of wall sitting, I could barely get through 30 seconds. My thighs were screaming. But now I can shake my booty with a smile on my face while we hold the position (i). ”

So, this is how easy the wall sit exercise really is! It is super effective, burns calories, helps to tone the muscles, and is fun. But traditional wall sit exercises are only for the lower body. What if you want to tone the whole body? Well, we have a solution – modified wall sit exercises. Here are 10 wall sit exercises to tone your entire body.

10 Wall Sit Exercises For Body Toning

1. Wall Sit Lat Raise

Image: Youtube

Target

Quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, deltoids, lats, rotator cuff muscles, abs, biceps, and wrist extensors.

Steps

  1. Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground. Hold the dumbbells to your sides with the palms facing your body. Keep your elbows slightly bent and core engaged.
  2. Put your feet forward. Go down as you do so, and keep leaning against the wall. Your feet should be 6 inches apart. This is your starting position.
  3. Exhale and slowly slide down into the perfect wall sit position and raise your arms until they are at level with your shoulders and parallel to the floor.
  4. Hold this position for a second and then inhale and slide up by straightening your arms. Simultaneously, lower your arms and come back to the starting position.
  5. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Duration

7 mins

Benefit

Lat raises with wall sit will help tone your upper body and abs without straining your knees or back.

Tip

Keep your back straight and do not move away from the wall.

2. Wall Sit Bicep Curls

Image: YouTube @kristinfreeberg4534

Target

Quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, deltoids, biceps, wrist extensors and flexors.

Steps

  1. Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground. Hold the dumbbells to your sides with the palms facing forward, elbows close to your torso, and core engaged.
  2. Put your feet forward. Go down as you do so, and keep leaning against the wall. Keep your feet 6 inches apart. This is your starting position.
  3. Now, exhale and slide down into a perfect wall sit position. Keep your upper arms stationary, flex your elbows, and bring both your forearms up until the dumbbells are close to your shoulders.
  4. Hold this position for a second and then exhale and slide up the wall. Simultaneously, lower your forearms and straighten your arms.
  5. Do 2-3 sets of 10 reps.

Duration

5 mins

Benefit

This modified wall sit exercise will help tone your upper arms.

Tip

You can also do this exercise with a barbell.

3. Wall Sit Shoulder Press

Image: YouTube @cr3ationfitness270

Target

Quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, anterior deltoids, posterior deltoids, lateral deltoid, and lats.

Steps

  1. Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground. Hold the dumbbells and flex your elbows to level your upper arms with the shoulders, palms facing forward, and the upper arms at a right angle with the forearms.
  2. Put your feet forward. Go down as you do so, and keep leaning against the wall. Your feet should be 6 inches apart. This is your starting position.
  3. Now, exhale and slide down to a wall sit position. Simultaneously, raise your arms so that they are fully extended and are directly above your head.
  4. Hold this position for a second.
  5. Now, inhale and flex your elbows, lower your arms, slide up while leaning against the wall, and come back to the starting position.

Duration

7 mins

Benefit

Tone up your shoulders and upper body with the wall sit shoulder press exercise.

Tip

Keep your core engaged while doing this exercise.

4. Wall Sit Straight Leg Lift

Image: YouTube @Advanced1on1Training

Target

Quads, hamstrings, calves, adductors, glutes, upper abs, and lower abs.

Steps

  1. Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Put your feet forward. Go down as you do so, and keep leaning against the wall. Keep your feet 6 inches apart. This is your starting position.
  3. Slide down to a wall sit position.
  4. Extend your right leg in the front.
  5. Hold this pose for 5 seconds.
  6. Inhale and slowly lower your leg.
  7. Stabilize yourself in the sitting position.
  8. Exhale and repeat this with the left leg.
  9. Do 1 set of 10 reps.

Duration

5 mins

Benefit

This takes the traditional wall sit exercise to a higher level and helps you gain muscle strength and stamina.

Tip

Your extended legs should be at the same level as your hips.

5. Wall Sit With Marching

Image: Youtube

Target

Quads, hamstrings, calves, adductors, glutes, upper abs, and lower abs.

Steps

  1. Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Put your feet forward and go down as you do so. Keep leaning against the wall and place your feet 6 inches apart. This is your starting position.
  3. Slide down to a wall sit position and be comfortable.
  4. Exhale and alternately lift the right and left legs up to your chest – as if you are marching.
  5. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Duration

4 mins

Benefit

This wall sit exercise will help tone your thighs.

Tip

Make this exercise intense by further lowering your body.

6. Wall Sit With Heel Lift

Image: YouTube @Musqle

Target

Quads, hamstrings, calves, adductors, and glutes.

Steps

  1. Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Put your feet forward and go down as you do so. Keep leaning against the wall and place your feet 6 inches apart. This is your starting position.
  3. Slide down to the wall sit position or chair position, and engage your core.
  4. Raise both your heels and hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
  5. Release the hold, lower your heels and repeat.
  6. Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

Duration

6 mins

Benefit

It will help strengthen your calves and tone your thigh muscles.

Tip

As you progress, make sure to increase the duration of the hold.

7. Wall Sit With Resistance Band

Wall sit with resistance band
Image: IStock

Target

Quads, hamstrings, calves, adductors, glute, and core.

Steps

1. Tie a resistance band around your thighs.
2. Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground.
3. Put your feet forward. Go down as you do so, and keep leaning against the wall. Keep your feet 6 inches apart. This is your starting position.
4. Now, slide down and come to a sitting position and widen your legs as you do so.
5. Slide back up the wall and come to your starting position.
6. Do 2 sets of 10 reps

Duration

7 mins

Benefit

If you have jiggly inner thighs, this exercise will help you lose the fat and tone up.

Tip

If you don’t have a resistance band, use a belt.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Ensure your weight is on your heels (not toes) and your knees don’t extend beyond your ankles to prevent injuries while doing wall sits.

8. Wall Sit With Medicine Ball

Image: YouTube @BalancedBodiesATC

Target

Adductors, core, glute, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

Steps

  1. Lean against the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Put your feet forward and go down as you do so. Keep leaning against the wall. Your feet should be 6 inches apart. Place a medicine ball between your knees. This is your starting position.
  3. Slowly slide down and squeeze the medicine ball.
  4. Hold this position for a second and come back to the starting position.
  5. Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

Duration

7 mins

Benefit

This will help in reshaping your inner thighs.

Tip

If you don’t have a medicine ball, fold a pillow and use it.

9. Wall Sit With Crossed Arms

Image: YouTube @FenixFitnessClubs

Target

Upper abs, lower abs, glute, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

Steps

  1. Lean against the wall. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Put your feet forward and go a little down. Place your feet 6 inches apart. Cross your arms and keep them at your chest level. This is your starting position.
  3. Now, slowly slide down and hold the chair position for 10 seconds.
  4. Exhale and slide up back to the starting position.
  5. Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

Duration

7 mins

Benefit

Not supporting your body by keeping your arms against the wall helps in intensifying this exercise. It helps tone your belly, buttocks, and thighs.

Tip

You can hold a medicine ball instead of crossing your arms.

10. Wall Sit With Stability Ball

Wall sit with stability ball
Image: Shutterstock

Target

Quads, hamstrings, calves, adductors, lower back, and glutes.

Steps

  1. Place a stability ball between you and the wall. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Put your feet forward and go a little down. Ensure that your feet are 6 inches apart.
  3. You can either do a bicep curl or shoulder press or use a resistance band. Slowly go down, making sure you balance the stability ball so that it doesn’t slip and fall.
  4. Hold the chair pose for 10 seconds before sliding up to the starting position.

Duration

7 mins

Benefit

This exercise teaches your muscles about balancing and stabilizing the body. Moreover, it is a great exercise for toning the hips and legs.

Tip

You can use a foam roller instead of a stability ball.

There you go – 10 modified wall sit exercises to help you tone the entire body. Now, let’s look at the benefits of doing wall sit exercises.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Wall sit exercises place most of your bodyweight on your knees. So, talk to your doctor before starting them if you have a knee injury.

Benefits Of Wall Sit Exercises

  • Primarily, wall sitting builds your isometric or static strength and endurance in the glutes, calves, and quadriceps.
  • The muscles present in the front of your thighs are the quadriceps. One of these four is the rectus femoris, which helps to move your thigh and torso closer. Doing wall sits increases the strength and endurance of this muscle.
  • The hamstring muscles located in the back of the thighs work in rhythm with the quadriceps. Wall sits also strengthen the hamstring muscles.
  • The adductor muscles present in the inner thighs can also be strengthened with wall sits.

Wall sits are often done before the skiing season to increase the strength of the legs. As wall sits separate out the quads, they do not provide an overall workout. So, they have to be done in combination with other exercises that bulk up the quad muscles, like walking lunges and some basic plyometric exercises. If all of these are done regularly, you will be able to take part in activities like skiing without any problem or discomfort.

Infographic: 3 Wall Sit Exercises You Should Try

Wall sit exercises are one of the most effective workouts that help tone your thighs and hips and burn stubborn belly fat. To help you out, we have discussed 3 wall sit exercises you should include in your workout routine. Check out the infographic below to know more!

3 wall sit exercises you should try (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Wall sit exercises help tone and strengthen your lower body muscles. Easy to implement and beginner-friendly, these exercises don’t need much of your time or expertise to be executed. However, maintaining correct form and posture to avoid any sprain or strain on your knees and other joints is important. Once comfortable with the basic steps, you can add on variations to take your workout routine to a whole new level.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you do wall sits for a month?

Your legs will appear more toned if you do wall sits for a month. Moreover, they build your muscle strength and endurance in the glutes, quadriceps, and calves.

How many calories does a 5-minute wall sits burn?

Though it depends on your body, you can burn around 15-18 calories with a 5-minute wall sit.

Does wall sit exercise give you bigger thighs?

No. Wall sit exercises help tone your thighs and burn extra fat.

Are wall sits safe for your knees?

Yes. Wall sits are considered safe for the knees as you have added support from the wall, and the body is stationary.

Can wall sit hurt your back?

No. Wall sit exercises take support from the wall instead of your back and don’t usually hurt it.

Key Takeaways

  • The wall sit exercise is a simple exercise that works on the muscles of the legs and lower body.
  • It involves leaning against a wall and getting into a squat position for some time.
  • The benefits of wall sits include improved balance and stability, making it especially beneficial for older adults.
  • It can help increase cardiovascular endurance and burn calories.
  • This exercise is a low-impact workout that puts minimal stress on the joints, making it suitable for individuals with joint pain or injury.
  • Incorporating the wall sit exercise into a regular fitness routine can help improve overall fitness and tone the lower body.

Learn what happens if you do wall sits every day! Check out this video to find out how this exercise can help you reach your fitness goals and improve your overall health.

Personal Experience: Source

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