It's no secret that regular exercise helps firm and tone your body. But some areas, your butt for example, may need a little extra attention. The wall squat is an effective exercise to target this hard-to-tone area. If going to a gym and working out with others is too intimidating, the good news is that you can perform wall squats at home. The basic technique requires no special training aids; however, if you want a greater challenge, try doing the exercise with an exercise ball, add light hand weights or simply squat on one leg.
Stand with your back against a sturdy wall and walk your feet forward a couple of feet to perform an equipment-free, progressive wall squat. Position your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your arms straight out in front of your chest to help with your balance. Slide down the wall 4 to 5 inches, pause two seconds, slide down another 4 to 5 inches, pause and so on. Continue until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the last squat position two seconds, push with your legs and slide back up the wall to the starting position. This completes one repetition. Rest 30 seconds and repeat.
Sandwich an exercise ball between your lower back and a sturdy wall to try another version of wall squats. Position your feet hip-width apart and 10 to 12 inches in front of your body. Lean back into the ball, bend your hips and knees and slowly lower your body into a squat. The ball should roll against your back during this movement. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause a second at the bottom of the squat, push with your legs, roll back to the starting position and repeat.
Add more resistance for a greater challenge. Use the same technique for the equipment-free or the exercise-ball wall squat version and hold one or two dumbbells. With one dumbbell, hold the weight with both hands close to your chest while performing the exercise. With two dumbbells, hold one in each hand. Allow your arms to hang by your sides with your palms facing inward.
Perform an advanced wall squat -- the single-leg wall squat. This can be done with or without the exercise ball. To do either version, first position yourself in the correct starting position. Before you start to slide or roll down the wall, lift and extend your right leg in front of your body. While supporting your weight on your left leg, squat down as far as you comfortably can, stand and repeat. Switch legs after one set.
- The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Sexier, Healthier YOU!; Adam Campbell
- American Council on Exercise: Stability Ball Wall Squats
- University of Northern Colorado: Wall Sit
- Inhale during the downward phase and exhale during the upward phase of the exercise.
- Start with one set of 10 to 12 reps and gradually work your way up to two sets.
- Keep your knees aligned over your ankles at the bottom of the squat to avoid knee stress.