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The Wall Sit Quad Exercise

Build quad strength and endurance with this simple exercise

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Updated August 31, 2013

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Wall Sit Quad Exercise

Wall Sit Quad Exercise

Photo � E. Quinn
The wall sit exercise is a quad burner. This exercise is generally used for building isometric strength and endurance in the quadriceps muscle group, glutes and calves.

This exercise is often used for gradually building pre-season leg strength for downhill skiing. Although the exercise does isolate the quads and may help you to stay tucked longer without quad fatigue, the wall sit exercise should be used in combination with other quad strengthening exercises, such as the walking lunge or some basic plyometrics if ski conditioning is your goal.

How to Do a Perfect Wall Sit

It's not a complicated exercise, but many people get it wrong. You know you're doing it right if you form a right angle at your hips and your knees, your back is flat against the wall, and your heels are on the ground.
  1. Start with your back against a wall with your feet shoulder width and about two feet from the wall.
  2. Slowly slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  3. Adjust your feet if you need to so that your knees are directly above your ankles (rather than over your toes).
  4. Keep your back flat against the wall.
  5. Hold the position for 20 to 60 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and repeat the exercise three times.
  6. Increase your hold time by five seconds as you increase your strength.
  7. You may feel a burning sensation in the quads, but if you have pain in the knee or kneecap, stop the exercise.

Modified Wall Sit

Because this is an advanced exercise, you may need to modify your position or the length of your hold the first few times you try this exercise.
  • To decrease the intensity of the wall sit, don't slide down the wall quite as far. Aim for a 45 degree angle at the hips rather than a 90 degree angle. This will take a bit of pressure off your knees and lighten the load on the quads.
  • Another way to modify the exercise is to hold the position for a shorter amount of time at first and increase your hold time as you get stronger. Try a five or ten second hold in the beginning.
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