Wall Sit Workouts, Muscles Worked, Technique and Benefits

Wall Sit workouts involve this underestimated yet incredibly effective static hold exercise.

Simple and deadly, the Wall Sit requires and enhances both physical and mental strength.

There are not many lower body isometric exercises that require the use of all your major leg muscles, so the wall sit is considered unique in this way.

Table of Contents

Benefits

Muscles Worked

How to Do the Wall Sit

Training Tips

Wall Sit Workouts

Benefits of the Wall Sit

Wall Sit workouts are a great way to develop a powerful core, glutes and legs and improve your mental resilience and ability to never give up.

They also provide variety. The vast majority of the time static hold (isometric) exercises are overlooked, but they are a fantastic and humbling way to identify weaknesses and gaps in your strength.

Wall Sits are low skill, so can be easily employed as a great finisher after a leg, core or glutes session.

Wall Sits are also a fun way to compete with your friends. Try ending a trail run or workout with a max hold and see who is the last person standing (sitting).

Muscles Worked by Wall Sits

Wall Sit Workouts target and improve the following muscles:

  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Adductor muscles
  • Core
Man running up stairs
Wall Sits will improve your legs for many sports ©Steven Erixson

How to do Wall Sit Exercise

  1. Rest your back against a flat wall of similar solid surface
  2. Place your feet shoulder width apart
  3. Slide your bum down until it is the same height as your knees
  4. Hold

Training Tips for Wall Sits

Don’t touch your body with your hands at any point and especially don’t let them touch or rest on your knees.

Keep your back flat against the wall.

If you feel ambitious, try Single Leg Wall Sits. Once you are in position, simply lift up one leg and keep it straight out in front of you.

Wall Sit World Record

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Dr. Thienna Ho from Vietnam completed an 11 hour 51 minutes and 14 second Wall Sit at the World Team USA Gymnasium in San Francisco, California, USA, on 20 December 2008. She also holds the record for the most number of Sumo Squats performed in one hour.

Wall Sit Workouts

Add these into your training.

WORKOUT 1

For Time

  • 15 minute Wall Squat Hold (cumulative)

Every time athlete rests, perform:

Start a running clock and a stopwatch simultaneously. Perform the Wall Squat Hold (aka: Wall Sit) until you have to break. Every time you break, stop the stopwatch and perform 5 Push-Ups, 10 Jumping Jacks, and 5 V-Ups. Get back into the Wall Squat Hold position and resume the stopwatch. Continue until you accumulate 15 minutes on the stopwatch.

Score is the time on the clock when the 15 minutes cumulative Wall Squat Hold is completed.

WORKOUT 2

For Time

  • 2 minute Elbow Plank
  • 13 Burpees
  • 18 Kettlebell Swings (50/35 lb)
  • 31 Push-Ups
  • 53 Goblet Squats (50/35 lb)
  • 53 Burpees
  • 31 Kettlebell Swings (50/35 lb)
  • 18 Push-Ups
  • 13 Goblet Squats (50/35 lb)
  • 2 minute Wall Sit

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written. For the plank and wall sit, accumulate 2-minutes total of each (count time while in the hold only).

Score is the time on the clock when the two-minute Wall Sit is completed.

WORKOUT 3 (PARTNER)

AMRAP (with a Partner) in 18 minutes

6 Rounds of:

  • 1 minute Plank Hold / Push-Ups
  • 1 minute Wall Sit Hold / Jumping Squats
  • 1 minute Handstand Hold / Hollow Rocks

One partner does the hold while the other does the movement. Swap after each completed 3 minute round.

Partner one stays on the hold station for each of the three one minute stations in the three minute round. Once the three minute round is completed partner one and partner two switch places so partner two is doing the holds for each one minute station.

Score is the total number of repetitions (Push-Ups, Jumping Squats, and Hollow Rocks) completed with partners’ scores combined.

Tips and Strategy

Try to recover your breathing and slow your heart rate down as much as possible when completing the static holds. Keep an eye on funky foot positioning when doing high rep jumping squats, they can have a mind of their own!

Intended Stimulus

You want to keep moving for the minute so choose a movement or progression of the movement that allows you to keep it going. The partner working on static holds should be able to breathe through those holds and have some chance to recover a bit during those three minutes.

Scaling

Move Push-Ups to a raised surface or sub for Push-Up negatives if you cannot do Push-Ups. Try 30 seconds per leg of single leg Wall Sits if Wall Sit feels too easy. Work on nose and toes only against the wall on the stomach to wall handstand for extra challenge.

Hold a weight over your head (heavy book or odd object) to give you that extra burn on hollow rocks.

man jumping into lake
Strong legs are useful for many activities ©Jake Johnson

WORKOUT 4 (PARTNER)

4 Rounds (with a Partner) for Time

Cash out:

  • 500 Double Unders / Row

With a running clock Partner A starts the man makers while Partner B holds plank. Partner A may not start a rep until partner B is working. Partition the work as needed, but both partners must work at the same time. Partners may switch positions at will.

Once the man makers are complete, either partner may start the deadlifts, and so on.

There is no minimum work requirement (eg: metres or calories) on the final row, but the rowing partner must be rowing in order for any of the other partner’s Double Unders to count.

One man maker consists of a dumbbell push-up, two renegade rows (one per arm), and a squat clean thruster.

Score is the time on the clock when the cash-out is completed.

WORKOUT 5 (PARTNER)

For Time (with a Partner)

  • 800 metre Farmer Carry (24/16kg)
  • 100 Air Squats / Plank Hold
  • 90 Pull-Ups / Superman Hold
  • 80 Sit-Ups / Wall Sit Hold
  • 70 Burpees / Hang Hold
  • 60 Hand Release Push Ups / Handstand Hold
  • 50 Buddy Deadlifts (100/70 kg)
  • 400 metre Farmer Carry (24/16 kg)

To start, partners do the farmer carry together (each athlete carries two kettlebells, one in each hand). For the next five movements one partner works while the other partner ‘holds.’ If one partner takes a break, partners switch positions then continue. The buddy deadlifts are performed with a single bar, both partners lifting it together.

Scaling

Lower the weight for the Farmer Carry and Deadlifts.

Exchange Hand Release Push Ups for regular Pus Ups.

Learn how to build strong legs with the Rogue Echo Bike

WORKOUT 6

For Max Reps in 22 minutes

  • 1 min Pull-Ups
  • 1 min Air Squats
  • 1 min Kettlebell Swings (24/16 kg)
  • 1 min Double Unders
  • 1 min Push Ups
  • 1 min Sit Ups
  • 1 min Lunges (40/20 kg)
  • 1 min Strict Presses (30/15 kg)
  • 1 min Mountain Climbers
  • 1 min Dumbbell Push Presses (20/10 kg)
  • 1 min Box Jumps (24/20 in)
  • 1 min Shuttle Runs (10 m)
  • 1 min Wall Ball Shots (9/6 kg)
  • 1 min Ball Slams (9/6 kg)
  • 1 min Burpees
  • 1 min Bench Presses (50/35 kg)
  • 1 min Deadlifts (80/60 kg)
  • 1 min Wall Sit
  • 1 min Plank Hold
  • 1 min Rope Climbs (15 ft)
  • 1 min Toes-to-Bars
  • 1 min Dumbbell Snatches (25/15 kg)

Score is total reps completed of all movements.

For Wall Sit and Plank count 1 rep per second in static hold (do not count transition or rest time).

Scaling

Lower the weights of any exercises that you cannot, or struggle to perform.

Exchange Rope Climbs for Lat Pull Downs.

WORKOUT 7 (PARTNER)

AMRAP (with a Partner) in 30 minutes

Station 1: “Michalski”

From 0:00-10:00, Partner A performs:

  • 23 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)
  • 53 Double Unders

Partner B performs:

  • AbMat Sit-Ups*

Station 2: “Irvine”

From 10:01-20:00, perform:

  • 30 Alternating Dumbbell Snatches (50/35 lb)
  • 14 Box Jumps (24/20 in)

Partner B performs:

  • Wall Sit*

Station 3: “Rittner”

From 20:01-30:00, perform:

  • 12 Deadlifts (225/155 lb)
  • 800 metre Run

Partner B performs:

  • Burpees*

* Partner B performs the solo movement while Partner A does as many reps as possible of the couplet for the current station. Partners switch as needed.

This is a partner workout with three 10-minute AMRAPs, where Partner A does as many reps as possible of the work prescribed for the current station while Partner B does the asterisked movement (Partner A may only work while Partner B is working). Partners move to the next station together after 10 minutes. Partners may switch as needed.

Scaling

Lower the weight for the Deadlifts.

Lower the height for the Box Jumps or perform Box Step Ups.

WORKOUT 8

AMRAP in 40 minutes

3 Rounds of:

  • 30/20 calorie Assault Bike
  • 20 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)
  • 10 Burpees

Then, 3 Rounds of:

  • 30/20 calorie Row
  • 40 Lateral Box Step Overs (24/20 in)
  • 100 metre Farmer’s Carry (70/55 lb)

Then, 3 Rounds of:

  • 50 Double Unders
  • 1 minute Wall Sit
  • 50 Mountain Climbers

Perform 3 rounds of each triplet. If the workout is completed before 40-minute mark, start back from the assault bike workout.

Scaling

If unable to Bike or Row: Sub 400 metre Run

If unable to do Wall Ball Shots: Sub Goblet Squat

If unable to perform Double Unders: Sub 100 Singles

Wall Sit Workouts

Wall Sit Workouts are a great way to add this underused yet excellent lower body isometric exercise into your training.

Grab a friend and pick a partner workout or challenge yourself and battle your way through one of the others. Each one will test and enhance your fitness, strength and mental capacity to new limits.

If you enjoyed these Wall Sit Workouts then try choose a Strict Press Workout or learn how to Pistol Squat properly.