ScubaFit Featured Exercise – The Wall Sit


By Gretchen M. Ashton, SFT, SFN, SFT, NBFE 

Strengthening the lower body as a functional unit is important for divers.  Squats which are the King of all Exercises for the lower body are not always an option for divers with lower body injuries and beginners to fitness for diving. The leg Press machine found in gyms can be a great alternative but is not always available. The Wall Sit can be performed anywhere without any equipment.

Sit with the back against a wall or supportive vertical surface as shown.  Make sure the floor or ground is non-skid so that feet remain firmly positioned throughout the exercise.  Notice the right angles of the joints at the hips, knees and ankles. Proper positioning of the joints places the work of the exercise on the muscles and prevents injury. Breathe in and out in a natural way during this exercise.


Wide Stance Wall Sit bring the sensations of the exercise to the inner thighs.

Copyright: Gretchen M. Ashton

Once divers are in the Wall Sit position a first goal is to hold for 10-seconds, then work up to 30-seconds, one-minute, three-minutes or more.  Divers will feel this exercise primarily in the muscles on the top of the thigh – the quadriceps muscles. Although the entire lower body is engaged along with the core, a few simple adjustments with the legs and feet allow divers to also focus on and feel the sensations in other muscles of the legs.  For example, a wider stance will be felt in the inner thigh muscles – adductor muscles, and lifting the toes of the feet will place focus on the buttocks – gluteus muscles. The Wall Sit is a foundation static exercise appropriate for nearly every diver and fitness level.  To add a dynamic challenge, divers may hold dumbbells to perform other exercises like biceps curls or bounce a medicine ball during the Wall Sit.  Setting a goal of a number of repetitions or bounces helps divers hold the Wall Sit longer.  When adding dynamic components breathing changes to an exhale during the exertion portion of the movement.

Wall Sit with Medicine Ball Bounce 1      Wall Sit with Medicine Ball Bounce 2

The Wall Sit with a Medicine Ball bounce adds challenge and fun to the exercise.

Copyright: Gretchen M. Ashton


April 26, 2016 |

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