Walls are everywhere. Even in the deepest, darkest parts of the countryside there’ll be a few stones piled on top of one another to stop sheep roaming free and terrorising the neighbourhood. And yet most humans or sheep have likely never looked at a wall as the perfect piece of equipment to improve the strength and tone of their legs. That will all change, for humans at least, once they learn of the thigh-busting benefits of the wall sit.

The wall sit strengthens your lower body, especially your thighs, and improves stamina so you should be that little bit more sprightly at the end of your next long run. Sufferers of runner’s knee in particular could benefit from wall sits, as the strengthening effect they have your quad muscles can help prevent the condition.

How To Do The Wall Sit

Stand near a wall (around two feet away). You’re probably thinking any old distance will do, but complacency on wall proximity is the one true danger in the wall sit. Stand too far away and you’ll miss the wall entirely and potentially crack your head open, and being too near will prevent you getting your legs into the right position during the exercise.

Lean back against the wall with your torso, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then press back and slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Your knees should be above your ankles and bent at right-angles. Keep your head, shoulders and upper back against the wall and hold the position.

Hold for between 20 seconds and a minute, rest for 30 seconds and do it again. Repeat three to five times, trying to add five seconds each time. Then the next time you do the exercise, see if you can hold your first sit for 10 seconds longer.


There are plenty of variations you can build into the wall sit to make it harder or easier. Simply don’t go down as low if you can’t hold the standard position for longer than a few seconds.

For those seeking a greater challenge, raise one leg out in front throughout the exercise. This will make it all far tougher on the supporting leg, and engage the core.

Another variation is to hold a ball between your thighs during the exercise. This will hit the inner thighs particularly hard.