Wall Squats – An Isometric Exercise

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know that isometric exercises are a great way to strengthen muscles without requiring a broad range of motion. It’s always fun to try new and unique exercises, but sometimes we forget how effective the simple and basic moves can be. The wall squat also has a number of modifications to increase intensity, so you can keep this one as a part of your regular routine while continuing to challenge yourself. The wall squat is a great way to target your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. I like using it as a superset with another leg exercise to eliminate/minimize rest, keep things challenging, and make the most of my training time.

Wall Squat

Start by standing (with your back) in front of a wall (add some distance between you and the wall). Feet should be about hip distance apart.

Press your hips back to make contact with the wall, and then follow with your upper body. Ensure your back is straight and firmly pressed against the wall.

Slowly slide your back down the wall until your legs create a 90 degree angle. Your shins should be parallel to the wall.

Hold your arms out in front of you, or rest them loosely by your sides. Do NOT press your arms into the wall (removing tension from the quads) and do not rest them on your thighs.

Hold this position for as long as you can and make note of your time. Repeat three times. Work to increase the duration of your hold each time you perform this exercise.

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Once you have mastered the basic wall squat (and by “mastered”I mean you are comfortable with your form and can  hold the position for a relatively long period of time), you can add the following variations:

1. Place a dumbbell or weight plate on your lap (as shown above). I am using a 20lbs dumbbell, but start small and work your way up.

2. Place a ball (light medicine ball, soccer ball, etc.) between your knees and squeeze your thighs together as you squat. This will add emphasis to the inner thighs (not shown).

3. Once in your wall squat position, lift your heels off of the ground and press off of your toes as high as you can. Feel the contraction in your calf muscles as you hold this position. This will add emphasis to the calves.

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Train hard, train smart and have fun!

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