Wall sits are a common exercise used by physical therapists and other health professionals to reduce or eliminate knee pain. This is because wall sits help to strengthen the muscles in the knee joint without putting shear force on the knees, which can occur during squats and similar movement exercises. By performing wall sits with correct form as part of a knee pain reduction workout program, you will build stronger, pain-free knees.
Can Wall Sits Reduce Knee Pain?
Wall sits are an incredible tool for reducing knee pain. In fact, the National Library of Medicine includes wall sits in their list of seven exercises to reduce pain from runner’s knee. So, doctors and physical therapists agree that wall sits are a great tool for those recovering from a knee injury.
- Wall sits have been consistently used by health professionals to help individuals recover from a knee injury and knee pain.
- In addition to improved knee health, wall sits also benefit the muscles in your abdomen and lower back.
Wall sits also have several other benefits. This study found that wall sits help build the abdominal muscles, as well as the lumbar muscles of the lower back. So, wall sits may also help reduce lower back pain.
6 Steps to Use Wall Sits to Cure Knee Pain
Because wall sits build muscle around the knee joint, they’re a great tool for building strength and eliminating pain. In order to use wall sits for your benefit, follow these easy steps.
Begin with Proper Form
To begin using wall sits to reduce knee pain, start with proper wall sit form. Begin by standing 2 feet (60 cm) from a wall. Then, sink into a sitting position with your back pressed firmly against the wall. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor and your knees should be slightly behind your toes.
Hold Your Wall Sit
Once you are in the wall-sit position, hold the seated position to work your muscles. By holding a wall sit for a challenging length of time, you will strengthen your knee joint, as well as your quadriceps muscles and your core. Begin with a tough-but-manageable wall sit. 20–30 seconds is a good goal for your first wall sit workout.
Perform “Sets” of Wall Sits
A single wall sit isn’t enough to build the muscular strength needed to eliminate knee pain. Each time you do wall sits, do 3–5 wall sits. Rest is important. Give yourself a breather for 60–90 seconds between wall sits. A typical wall sit workout will be 30 seconds of holding a wall sit position, followed by 90 seconds of rest. Repeat this pattern 3–5 times to build muscle and reduce knee pain.
Do Wall Sits Several Times Each Week
To get the biggest benefit from wall sits, make a workout plan. It’s best to do wall sits 2–3 times per week, with 48 hours of rest between workouts. So, if you do a wall sit workout on Monday, you’ll be ready for more wall sits on Wednesday. This rest period is essential to allow your body to recover and build muscle. It’s a good idea to plan to do wall sits on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to continually build strength.
Gradually Increase the Difficulty
As your body becomes stronger, you’ll need tougher wall sits in order to get a good workout. Gradually make your wall sits harder by increasing how long you hold them. If you are able to complete your goal of five 30-second wall sits, add 5 seconds to each wall sit next time. So, during your next workout, you’ll do five 35-second wall sits. Continue building up the difficulty until you can hold your wall sits for 60–90 seconds.
Incorporate Other Knee-Strengthening Exercises
Wall sits are not the only exercise that excels at reducing knee pain. Make a knee-strengthening workout with 3–4 exercises. Begin with wall sits, side-lying leg raises, and seated leg raises. Then, as you get stronger, add squats and step-ups to your routine. This will go a long way toward building up your knee strength and preventing future pain.
Are Wall Sits Good for Patellar Tendonitis?
Studies have shown that wall sits are effective at relieving the pain caused by patellar tendonitis. So, if you are suffering from runner’s knee or other pain related to patellar tendon damage, isometric exercises such as wall sits are one of the best ways to eliminate this pain.
- Wall sits have been shown to be beneficial for curing patellar tendonitis.
- Isometric exercises (where you hold a static position) are better for curing tendonitis pain than movement exercises.
- As your knee joint becomes stronger, you can increase the difficulty of your wall sits for more knee strengthening benefits.
It’s best to avoid isotonic exercises, such as squats, when you are initially recovering from patellar tendonitis. Begin with a standard wall sit. Then, as you grow stronger, you can move up to weighted wall sits and single-leg wall sits. Eventually, you’ll be ready to move on to squats for increased knee joint strength.
Why Do Wall Sits Hurt Your Knees?
Knee pain during wall sits is typically caused by your knees being too far forward as you hold your wall sit. To correct this, move your feet slightly forward. Instead of a 90-degree angle, your shins should be angled slightly backward. This removes stress from the knees, resulting in a pain-free wall-sit.
- Wall sits can cause knee pain if your knees are too far forward.
- Move your feet further from the wall until your shins are angled slightly backward.
- Do not allow your knees to be further forward than your toes—this can cause knee pain.
Although many people believe that a proper wall sit requires their knees to bend at a right angle, this can actually palace shear force on the knee joint. Since our goal is knee-strengthening, avoid this stance. It’s also essential that your knees are not further forward than your toes. The further forward your knees are, the more strain you put on your knee joint.
Can Wall Sits Help with Knee Pain?
Wall sits are an essential exercise for reducing or eliminating knee pain. In order to use wall sits to help reduce pains symptoms, follow these steps:
- Perform wall sits with your back firmly against the wall, your thighs parallel to the ground, and your toes slightly forward of your knees.
- Hold your wall sit for 20–30 seconds to start.
- Rest for 60–90 seconds after your wall sit, then repeat for a total of 3–5 wall sits.
- Perform a wall-sit workout 2–3 times per week, with 48 hours of rest between workouts.
- Gradually increase wall sit difficulty by holding longer wall sits as you get stronger.
- Incorporate side-lying leg lifts, seated leg raises, and other knee-strengthening movements into your workout.
By building a workout program around wall sits, you can reduce knee pain from patellar tendonitis and similar injuries. Wall sits and other related exercises are proven to strengthen muscles in the knee joint, which in turn prevents knee pain.