Wall sit is one of the exercises many gym-goers tend to overlook. Many, unknowingly consider it as just a lower body exercise with minimal benefits. Thus, they tend to ignore it. This belief is sometimes based on the fact that you do not need any expensive equipment for the exercise.
To those of us who have been doing it for many years, it is one of the most effective isometric exercises available to you. It has many benefits to make it worth your time and effort.
Done correctly, it can work many of the muscles of your lower body simultaneously.
Wall sit benefits
Here are 11 great wall sit benefits and why wall sit should be in every exercise plan
Works various muscles and joints of your body
The wall sit, also known as devil’s chair, or wall squat, is an effective quad burner that works the muscles in front of the thighs.
But, because many joints and muscles are engaged and made to work together during the exercise, it can also be considered a compound exercise.
With variations, it can work various muscles in other parts of the body such as the hamstrings as well.
Boosts Stamina & Endurance/Develops muscular endurance
It is primarily used to build isometric strength and endurance in the muscles that form the quads, calves, and glutes. It can also help build leg strength.
Thus, it can help those who engage in such sports as downhill skiing, field and track sports, running, and ice hockey. Those who engage in these sporting activities use it as part of their pre-season training.
Wall sit can help make your quads stronger and keep your muscles balanced.
It can also help build muscular endurance. This can help delay fatigue and make it possible for athletes to perform better and for longer.
Thus, sports that rely on the hamstrings use it as part of the training to help improve performance.
We all need strong quads in many of the activities we do every day. Such activities include walking down the stairs, walking downhill, or getting out of a chair.
It means doing wall sit to help build your quad can benefit those who are not into any sports.
A great alternative to squats
Many people are not able to do the squat exercise for various reasons. Others risk injury from squats. For such people, wall sit can be a good alternative.
While the benefits may not be the same, wall sit can give you many of the advantages you get from squats.
It can work the same muscles as the squat exercise. The possibility of getting an injury is very low.
Thus, people of all ages can reap the benefits from the wall sit exercise. Such people include children, senior citizens, and those recovering from an injury.
Capable of improving performance in some sports and activities
You need static muscle strength to engage in some sports and physical activities. Such sports include rock climbing, gymnastics, skiing, and boarding. Wall sit is very good at helping you build such muscle strength.
Thus, those who take part in these sports use the chair exercise as part of their training.
It may help lower your blood pressure
One of the advantages of isometric resistance training, such as wall sit is its ability to lower your blood pressure.
In a publication in Mayo Clinic Proceedings(1) in March 2014, a study found that healthy adults who regularly engaged in isometric strengthening exercises such as wall sit for more than eight weeks saw a notable fall in their blood pressure.
Another study came to a similar conclusion. The study found that isometric training such as wall sit can lower blood pressure and regulate autonomic control (2)
No need for any equipment
You need various exercise equipment or a gym membership to do many lower body exercises.
It is not the case with the wall sit. You do not need access to any trainer or training facilities either.
You can do the exercise anywhere and at any time at no cost.
Each wall sit session may last for less than 10 minutes. Thus, you can fit the exercise into any tight schedule you may have.
Many Variations for a full-body workout
The wall sit is quite a simple but intense exercise. You can take it much further and make it more challenging with a few changes. These wall sit variations will push your body to different levels. They will also make the exercise more beneficial
Reach out for a pair of dumbbells, barbells, or an exercise ball if you find the devil’s chair boring. Use some of the above equipment when doing the wall sit exercise. It will allow you to work other muscles in the upper and lower parts of your body.
Thus, you can turn the simple wall sit exercise into a full-body workout to tone your body.
Builds Core Strength
It is necessary to engage and tighten your core when doing the wall sit exercise. Such an action can help stabilize your core and make it stronger.
Thus, you must consider the wall sit if your goal is to develop and tighten your abdominal muscles. The exercise is quite simple to do but effective. It can give you good results if you do it consistently and in the right way.
It will not give you the much-eluded six-pack abs on its own. You must consider it as part of your strategy.
In effect, it is one of the exercises that must appear on your workout plan to build a stronger core.
Improves Your Balance & Stability
The wall sit exercise requires you to balance your body with the help of the wall. You need a strong core and a well-balanced body to do that.
Thus, when you are a beginner, you will only manage to hold the position for a short period. The reason is you need a strong core to remain in that position for extended periods.
The stronger your core gets, the longer you can hold the wall sit position.
Thus, as you hold the wall sit position for many seconds, you build your core and make it stronger. You also develop the ability to stabilize and balance your body better.
A strong core makes it easy to move in any direction and on different surface levels. With a strong core, you can stand in one spot without the fear of losing your balance and falling over.
The squat exercise has many advantages. But it is possible to hurt your lower back and affect your posture when doing the exercise. It can also put undue pressure on your knees. It is not the case with the wall sit exercise.
Some studies show that doing the wall sit exercise can help build some of the muscles that support your spine and posture. So, it is good to develop these muscles and make them stronger.
By building these muscles, you can help prevent lower back pain and improve your posture.
Some of the studies have shown that wall sit is an effective exercise for posture control. It is also great at improving lumber stability.
Thus, you should consider wall sit if you want exercises to improve or correct your posture.
Can help strengthen your knees
Doing wall sit if you have a troublesome or dodgy knee can help strengthen them without putting much stress on the knee.
The reason is the knee joints do not move during the exercise. And since you must keep your hips back and your shins vertical, you reduce any stress on the knees.
Wall sit can help strengthen the muscles that surround the knee joint. Thus, it can help protect you from knee pain. It can also help with easing pains in your knees if you do the exercise regularly.
What to do next?
Wall sit, in general, is quite easy to master. It requires no equipment, and you can do it anywhere and at any time.
The basic wall sit targets the muscles of your lower body. Thus, it is not a full-body workout. Hence, you must see it as part of your fitness plan.
I implore you to take advantage of the many variations of the exercise available to you. Where possible, add various equipment like dumbbells.
You must not ignore it because of its simplicity. Give it a prominent role in your workout plan. By doing so, you can reap the many benefits associated with the exercise to help build your fitness levels and improve your health
Goldring N, Wiles JD, Coleman D. The effects of isometric wall squat exercise on heart rate and blood pressure in a normotensive population. J Sports Sci. 2014;32(2):129-36. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2013.809471. Epub 2013 Jul 24. PMID: 23879248.
Cho M. The effects of modified wall squat exercises on average adults’ deep abdominal muscle thickness and lumbar stability. J Phys Ther Sci. 2013 Jun;25(6):689-92. doi: 10.1589/jpts.25.689. Epub 2013 Jul 23. PMID: 24259831; PMCID: PMC3804993.
Lee Y. The influence of unstable modified wall squat exercises on the posture of female university students. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Aug;27(8):2477-80. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.2477. Epub 2015 Aug 21. PMID: 26356770; PMCID: PMC4563294
Han HR, Yi CH, You SH, Cynn HS, Lim OB, Son JI. Comparative Effects of 4 Single-Leg Squat Exercises in Subjects With Gluteus Medius Weakness. J Sport Rehabil. 2018 Nov 1;27(6):513-519. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2016-0193. Epub 2018 Jun 22. PMID: 28714757.