Enter the wall sit challenge and feel the burn in the best way possible

Let’s talk about wall sits. Those infamous isometric exercises give your leg muscles a fiery workout while you hold a squat-like position against a wall. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying the burn they bring to your quads, hamstrings, adductors, calves, and core. So, why would anyone willingly take on a wall sit challenge?

Well, if you’re like me and enjoy resistance training, compound movements, and low-impact exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, wall sits are right up your alley. Plus, research shows that they offer impressive benefits, such as boosting muscular strength and endurance, and even reducing blood pressure more effectively than other forms of exercise like aerobics or weight training. Intrigued yet?

With up to 10,000 monthly searches on Google for wall sits, I couldn’t resist diving into this challenge. Adding wall sits to my weekly routine seemed like a no-brainer, especially for someone keen on strengthening at home. If you’re curious about my experience, the improvements I witnessed, and how to nail your form for the challenge, keep reading. And while you’re here, check out our guides on strength training for women, beginners, and low-impact exercises.

wall sit challenge

Wall sit via Rebecca Shepherd

What exactly is a wall sit?

In case you’re unfamiliar, a wall sit involves assuming a seated position with your back against a flat surface, typically a wall. Sounds simple, right? But don’t be fooled–it’s tougher than it looks. This exercise engages a plethora of muscles, including your quads, hamstrings, adductors, calves, and core, making it an excellent full-body stability workout.

According to Lotti Sorrell, founder of Longevity, wall sits fall under the category of isometric exercises, much like planks or glute bridges. But don’t worry, mastering the form is key, and I’ve got some expert tips for you.

How to nail the perfect wall sit form

To ace your wall sit, Sorrell recommends:

  • Slowly lowering into a squat position with your back against the wall.
  • Aim for a 90-degree angle at the hip, knee, and ankle while keeping your lower back pressed against the wall for core stability.

Now, onto the fun part–the wall sit challenge!

What’s a wall sit challenge, anyway?

It’s simple: you hold a wall and sit for a designated period. Whether it’s 30 seconds, a minute, or if you’re feeling ambitious, five minutes, the challenge is to repeat this exercise once, twice, or thrice a day over a set period, be it days, weeks, or even a month.

For my challenge, guided by Jenni Tardiff from The Gym Group, I committed to holding a one-minute wall sit, thrice daily, for a week. Spoiler alert: it was tougher than I expected, but oh-so rewarding.

The benefits are worth the burn

Here are four reasons why wall sits are worth your time:

  1. Full-body engagement: They work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing maximum efficiency in minimal time.
  2. Blood pressure control: Research suggests that isometric exercises like wall sits can effectively reduce blood pressure.
  3. Low impact: Perfect for longevity-focused fitness, wall sits build strength without compromising joint health.
  4. Muscular endurance: By challenging your lower body to sustain an isometric contraction, wall sits improve endurance and stability.

My week of wall sits: A rollercoaster ride

Days 1-3: The burn begins

Confession time: I hadn’t done a wall sit in ages. The first few sets were a struggle, mentally and physically. But I powered through, breaking them up throughout the day to manage the burn.

Days 4-7: Finding my stride

Endurance slowly improved, and by the end of the week, I could feel the difference. Even added a challenge by raising my arms overhead for extra core engagement–talk about intensity!

@hollyb_fitness What goes through my head during wall sits 🥴 #homeworkout #workingout #legworkout #imissthegym #imissthegymsomuch ♬ Pretty Girl (Cheat Codes X Cade Remix) – Cheat Codes,Maggie Lindemann,CADE

The conclusion: Strength in simplicity

After seven days, my strength and endurance got a noticeable boost. Wall sits are now a staple in my routine, whether as a standalone exercise or a fiery finisher to my workouts.

Ready for the challenge?

So, how long should you hold a wall sit? It varies based on your fitness level, but aim for 20-30 seconds for beginners, 45-60 seconds for intermediates, and 60 seconds or more for advanced practitioners. And remember, form is key!

Are you up for the challenge? Give it a try and feel the burn!

This article was syndicated from Marie Claire UK
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer


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