One of the best workouts you can do for your legs and core is completely free, requires no equipment, and can be done at home while watching TV. What’s more, there’s no movement involved, you won’t put on any extra weight, and it won’t take a toll on your joints. This makes it ideal for beginner exercisers, seniors, and those with joint issues that prevent other forms of exercise.
Sitting against a wall is a great exercise and underrated in my book. It is often used before a ski holiday as it prepares your legs and buttocks for the crouch position. I made the most of it during COVID, when all gyms were closed and I got tired of repeating bodyweight squats, so I started a daily wall sit challenge: four sets of one minute each for two weeks.
It ended up making my core and legs stronger, and while you don’t have to do four minutes a day like I do, a week of sitting against the wall would be the perfect way to start your Get Fit ’23 fitness journey.
The wall sit is part of a series of moves called “isometric” exercises. Isometric exercises are exercises that don’t involve any movement: instead, you hold challenging poses to induce muscle tension. For example, you can hold your abs in a plank position.in an article published on International Journal of Sports Medicine (opens in a new tab)found that isometric exercises like these help improve muscle strength in people with limited mobility, and may even be more effective than traditional “dynamic” strength training.
Because it doesn’t involve moving your knees and hips at all, doesn’t put extra weight on your back, and doesn’t make your feet touch the floor like running or jumping exercises, it’s very forgiving and a great way to start . However, it’s still a tough workout, and while you might not rack up any steps on the best fitness trackers, you might still be able to see your heart rate spike after a few sets.
To start, just lean your back against the wall and slide down. Your feet should be in front of you, shoulder-width apart, and your thighs should be parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders against the wall and your eyes straight ahead. The TV is a great focal point (and a welcome distraction).
Now, here’s the tricky bit: you have to hold the position for a certain amount of time. If you’ve never tried this before, or are very new to strength training, then 15-30 seconds might be an achievable goal for you.Playing with your phone and setting timers is a hassle once you’re in this position, so I just use Amazon Echo Dot Asking Alexa to set a one-minute timer in my living room. Then you only need to hold the position for as long as you need.
easy to say, hard to do. In no time, your quads, glutes, and hamstrings will be lighting up. For added benefits, make sure you’re looking straight ahead, put your hands behind your head or stretch them out in front of you, inhale gently and tighten your abdominal muscles.
I won’t lie to you, it sucks. Every time I hear Alexa’s sweet voice say “Okay, one minute, now,” I find myself clenching my teeth in anticipation of the tough times ahead of me. The soft siren at the end of that minute was a lifeline, but it felt like it took a long time to get there. It’s gotten to the point where I’m starting to dislike Alexa’s voice because I associate it with those gritty walls.
However, it’s still far more effective than fiddling with a timer and rushing into position, and any little trick, no matter how small, that removes obstacles to a workout is a success in my opinion. I found it much easier to set the timer with simple voice commands.
When I got back to the gym, I found that even though I hadn’t used the squat rack for a long time, my leg and glute strength hadn’t diminished much.All that wall sitting enhanced my running, too: study published in journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise (opens in a new tab) showed that stronger glutes and quads are a factor in top speed. A strong core also contributes to good running form.
Coincidence or not, I had my best personal half marathon time after training at home with this unconventional and underrated method. Now that I’m training for a full marathon in April 2023, I’m going to put wall sitting back into my daily fitness routine.
If you think you should really get some exercise while watching Netflix at home, try three sets of 30-second sit-ups against a wall to get you started.Don’t blame me if you start to hate yours smart speaker after.
First release: May 2022.