This exercise to help build lower-body strength for all skill levels

The Wall Squat is a compound movement, meaning that it is a multi-joint exercise targeting many muscle groups at the same time. Rep for rep, this exercise is very efficient in terms of lower body strengthening. Wall Squats are a good choice for beginners as well as for individuals who may not be able to perform a traditional non-supported squat due to injuries.

Muscles worked: Quadriceps, hamstrings and hips, as well as many smaller stabilizing muscles, including those of the lower back.


To execute this exercise, place a stability ball behind the lower back. Carefully step the feet forward and position them approximately shoulder or hip width apart. Looking straight ahead, bend the knees and slowly lower into the squat position, keeping the torso upright. Ideally, the knees will be directly above the ankle at the bottom of the repetition. Do not descend any further than thighs parallel to the floor, and be careful not to round the back. Instead, the spinal column should be kept in its normal alignment all the way to the bottom of the squat and as you return to standing.


Safety should always be your first priority when exercising. Check with your doctor before adding squats to your workout routine, especially if you are unaccustomed to physical activity, have pre-existing injuries or a medical condition. Using poor form can create problems for the knees or hips, or exacerbate current issues.

Your heels should be in contact with the floor throughout the repetition, and your knees should not travel over the toes. The upper body should remain upright throughout each repetition.

Other options:

If you do not have a stability ball, you can simply put your back against a wall to perform the exercise.

Using added resistance. Get the advice of a professional if you plan to perform squats using added resistance such as dumbbells. Holding onto extra weight increases stress on the joints, so is not appropriate for everyone. Intensity can be increased by holding the squat when thighs parallel to the floor for the desired number of seconds before standing, or by performing reps at a slower pace.

If your leg strength is not sufficient to bring the thighs parallel to the floor, modify range of motion until you get stronger. For example, lower the body only halfway down before pushing back up again.

Beginners should start with one set to get a feel for the exercise, every other day or every third day. Stretching before and after the set can be beneficial. Aim for 8 -10 repetitions. As progress continues, you can add reps or sets. A 2-3 second lowering and a 2-3 second standing is a reasonable pace. Moving too quickly in any exercise diminishes the time muscles are under tension, taking away from strength benefit.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Health

3 menus we are DYING to try during Winter Restaurant Week this week
3 menus we are DYING to try during Winter Restaurant Week this week

We’ve really got to hand it to this year’s Winter Restaurant Week participants. The menus that keep rolling out are top-notch, as well as a great value. It would be almost impossible to attempt to try every Restaurant Week menu.  So to ease your foodie anxieties and help you decide, we’ve selected three menus that we think sound...
Pregnancy tests can be thrown off by timing
Pregnancy tests can be thrown off by timing

The moment a woman finds out she is pregnant can be life-altering, which makes it that much more important to conduct a home pregnancy test when it will provide the most accurate results. In fact, according to a local obstetrician, the timing of a home pregnancy test is much more vital than the type of pregnancy test a woman chooses from her local...
Obesity surgery safer than traditional treatments, study suggests
Obesity surgery safer than traditional treatments, study suggests

Having surgery to treat obesity may seem like a drastic option, but a new study suggests it may actually be a safer route than more traditional options. Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Clalit Research Institute in Israel, recently published their findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association...
Get fit: 3 mistakes to avoid while exercising

One of the greatest benefits of exercise is that it enables you to be more in tune with your body. During a workout you learn how your body reacts to different types of activity. Uncomfortable responses associated with exercise such as muscle soreness are normal, while other situations can be an indication of a more serious problem. Over-training and...
How Dayton changed the Bombecks — and how the Bombecks changed Dayton
How Dayton changed the Bombecks — and how the Bombecks changed Dayton

Growing up in Dayton left an indelible imprint on Bill and Erma Bombeck – and they, in turn, now leave an enduring legacy in their hometown. Bill Bombeck died Jan. 12 in Phoenix, Ariz., and he soon will be buried alongside his wife in Dayton’s historic Woodland Cemetery. But the couple will live on in the hearts of many friends in the Dayton...
More Stories