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Advanced Wall-Sit Ladder Series

Here's How to Up Your Wall-Sit Game For Stronger Legs, According to a Former Gymnast

Wall-sits

Any gymnast will tell you that the strength training portion of practice is intense. It's basically boot camp. "Conditioning," as we called it, sometimes only lasted 30 minutes, but it featured rope climbs (you were extra blessed if you had to do them without using your legs), sprints, and challenging bodyweight moves like hollow body rocks or v-ups, my personal favourite. I incorporate a lot of these exercises into my workouts today mainly to keep up my strength; partially to make sure I've still got it.

Inspired by my high school gymnastics Summer Hell Week (double sessions of nonstop routines and conditioning), you can find me doing wall-sit ladder series rather frequently. Here's how we did them: we'd do a wall-sit for five, four, three, two minutes, and then one; then we'd climb back up the ladder for two, three, four, and five minutes — taking short breaks in between each sit. Trust me, adding this type of sequence is a more advanced way to target your quads, hamstrings, and core. If you like the ladder format, try Olympic runner Colleen Quigley's 3-6-9-12 ab routine.

To up the intensity of your wall sits, try doing them in a ladder format. If my old 5-4-3-2-1 set from gymnastics seems too challenging, you're not alone. I make adjustments to the numbers depending on how I'm feeling (normally, I only go up to three minutes max and vary the intervals by 15 or 30 seconds as opposed to one minute). At the end of your workout, or for a short leg circuit on a busy day (once your body is warmed up), try this format I created to ease you into the joys of wall sits.

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Ladder Wall Sit

  • Hold wall sit for 1 minute 30 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Hold wall sit for 1 minute 15 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Hold wall sit for 1 minute
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Hold wall sit for 45 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Hold wall sit for 30 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Hold wall sit for 45 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Hold wall sit for 1 minute
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Hold wall sit for 1 minute 15 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Hold wall sit for 1 minute 30 seconds

At gymnastics practice we'd take a break in between each wall sit by walking around the floor (usually on tiptoe), but do whatever you'd like. Shake your legs out or maybe even do some push-up variations. Have fun with it because you'll definitely be feeling the burn!

Do take time to stretch out your quads and roll your legs after this short but intense series.

Image Source: Getty / SrdjanPav
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