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Wall sits

The wall sit is a progressive exercise on the path to resisted squats (back squat, front squat) (Science for Sport, 2020):
The wall sit works the following muscle groups:
To perform the wall sit, the athlete takes a position with his/her back against the wall and slides down to a squat position:

The thighs are parallel to the ground. The back and shins are perpendicular to the ground. The feet are facing slightly outward. Here is a front view:


The knees and feet are facing slightly outside. The shoulders and waist are level.

A typical training method for beginners is to start with a short duration (15-30 seconds at a time) with several reps and build up to larger durations.

A common progression from the 2-leg (bilateral) wall sit is the 1-leg (unilateral) wall sit:


When performing the unilateral wall sit, the athlete should start from a half squat (higher position on the wall) and slide down to a spot that provides both balance and sensations. Because the athlete is putting all of his/her weight on one leg, the duration of the unilateral wall sit will be shorter.

The athlete should remember to breathe and relax. The sensation should be that the athlete is pressing his/her weight using the heels rather than toes and using the arms and back to press against the wall.

Common progressions

  • Hold a weight or medicine ball during the wall sit
  • Place an exercise ball between the athlete and the wall during the sit


Science for Sport. (2020). Coach Academy – Long-term athletic development. Retrieved August 24, 2020, from