This Is What Wall Sits Do For Your Body

Wall sits can be compared to planks in that they are boring, but effective, and they both burn like hell. The beauty of a wall sit it that you can find a wall almost anywhere, and that is all you need to perform this thigh toning move. The muscles worked during a wall sit include the quads, glutes, calves, and core muscles (via Prevention). You can tone these muscles by doing 20 minutes of wall sit exercises daily (via StyleCraze).

The wall sit is an isometric exercise, meaning you hold still while keeping the muscle under tension. Fitness trainer Tim Hartwig, C.S.C.S. tells Women's Health, "Isometric exercises build strength over the duration of the hold, the longer the hold the greater increase of muscle fiber activation and strength." While not a flashy exercise, it is effective and commonly used for building leg strength in athletes involved with downhill skiing, ice hockey, and track and field (via VeryWell Fit).

To perform a proper wall sit, place your entire back against a smooth surfaced wall with your legs a few steps in front of you, about six inches apart, and your feet flat on the ground. Lower yourself to a 90-degree angle and hold, ensuring your spine is aligned and your thighs are parallel with the floor. You can start by holding this position for 20-30 seconds and increase your time as you build endurance.

Variations of the wall sit

Once you've mastered up to 60 second holds, you may want to make the wall sits more interesting. Strength and conditioning specialist Alena Luciani tells Greatist to use the wall sit as a way to work the glutes more, stating "You need to pay attention and make sure you're consistently squeezing your glutes." Luciani goes on to say that isometric moves, like the wall sit, help build muscle mass, which can lead to a faster metabolism and increased calories and fat burn.

There are many variations of the wall sit that can strengthen both the upper and lower body. You can hold a single legged wall sit for five to ten seconds, which targets the hamstrings, calves, adductors, glutes, and abs, or you can perform upper body exercises during a standard wall sit, like bicep curls, shoulder presses, and lateral raises.

If you're looking to change things up in your fitness routine, try adding in wall sits for toning and strengthening those legs. They may seem a bit bland at first, but once you build stamina, you can start altering them for a killer workout.