“With your back to the wall”: the wall sit and the effort of staying … sitting

Strength, tone and muscle mass. All the secrets of the wall sit, a top exercise

Dynamism, movement, explosiveness. These are the first things that come to mind when thinking about physical activity. Strange but true, they are not always necessary and sometimes it takes very little to train. Sitting, for example. It happens in the wall sit, a “cult” exercise.

EXECUTION –Squat isometric with the back resting against the wall and knees bent to form a right angle, it is an exercise of extraordinary proprioceptive value. Allows you to increase balance and stability and it can be useful in various situations, from simple warm-up to post-injury re-athletization programs (for strengthening the muscles of the lower limbs). It is essential, in the execution, to keep the column in the correct position using the support of the wall. In order not to lose balance and above all to concentrate on staying still, with outstretched arms and relaxed shoulders and neck. If performed well, the wall sit helps strengthen – in addition to the quadriceps – the hamstrings (hamstring, semitendinosus and semimembranosus muscle), the gluteus maximus and calf muscles. Pure static contraction, leads to muscle exhaustion without movement. Advantages? Increase in strength, tone and muscle mass.

MISTAKES – Easy only in appearance, it requires a predisposition to effort. An untrained person would be able to resist very little, risking injuries and postural imbalances . At the beginning – especially for newbies – excessive stress on the legs, caused by maintaining the position for a prolonged time, should be avoided. In this case, a common mistake is caused by compensation actions of the knees in the ascent phase. In the initial positioning, however, the risk may relate to irregular flexion of the hip, which tends to move away from the wall. In an isometry of this type, movements of the shoulders and arms and lifting of the toes off the ground are also to be avoided.

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VARIANTS – In principle, the exercise favors correct execution, but some tricks allow you to decline the work in a different way. In addition to the classic weights to increase the load, an elastic between the knees – for example – also activates the ilio-tibial band. With the feet further away from the wall (maintaining the same “angle”), on the other hand, a further flexion of the hip is achieved, with greater activation of the quadriceps. And by increasing the distance between the feet? The result will be a greater focus on adductors and glutes. That’s all? Not yet. Once you have acquired a good command of the seal, a subsequent step can involve moving the tension on one limb at a time, with the other extended.

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