Thursday, July 30

Wall Squat

A wall squat is an exercise that I love to include in most of my clients' workouts. It's a great exercise that targets the thighs, butt, and even your back and abs, and, technically, it's easy to perform. It's excellent for your posture and can be done almost anywhere! Here's what you do:

1. Stand against a wall with your legs extended out and feet shoulder width apart (or a bit wider depending on what feels comfortable for you). Your feet should be about 2' away from the wall. If you have knee pain or an injury, adjust your feet out so that when you bend and straighten, you feel no pain.

2. Inhale, then exhale and tighten your abs
. Keep your head up and eyes forward with knees slightly bent. Try to keep your shoulders from hunching or rounding, and the back of your head touching the wall.

3. As you exhale, bend your knees to slide your back down the wall. Ideally, you will come low enough that your thighs are parallel to the floor, but let the presence of any pain guide you as to how far down you go. You should feel no pain! Also, check to see that your knees do not come any more forward than your ankles.

4. If needed, adjust the distance between the wall and your feet to accommodate good knee alignment and the level of challenge to your muscles.

5. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds. Breathe evenly. Keep your hands at your sides and not on your thighs. Eventually, you can work up to holding the position for 1-2 minutes.

6. Move slowly back to the start position. The workout for your seat muscles should intensify on the way back up.

Perform this exercise 3-4 times and increase the holding time each week. When it's getting tough and you don't think you can hold it any longer, just think about the girl who held a wall squat for 11 hours and 51 minutes to get the Guinness World Record. I think you can handle the challenge of working up to 2 minutes *smiles*