When I went through the P90X program, there were only a few exercise that kicked my butt - and Wall Squats were one of them. I never managed to work up to the 60 seconds of squatting Tony Horton and his fellow exercisers made look so easy. It's just a darn hard exercise, and you'll find your legs are shaking and trembling before you're half done!
It's also one of the best static exercises that you can do for your legs, and it's great for those with knee problems. Seeing as you're not cracking the 90-degree angle, you don't put too much pressure on your aching knees (a problem I have). It's good to help prevent ACL injuries, and it's just a damn good exercise for your quads.
Bringing the Pain
Here's how to do wall squats:
Step 1: Place your back against the wall, arms down at your side. Place your feet about a foot-and-a-half from the wall, spread about shoulder width apart.
Step 2: Bend your knees, and let your back slowly slide down the wall until your legs are at a 100-degree angle (not quite at a right angle). Hold this position for a 10-count.
Step 3: Slide down the wall even further until your legs reach the 90-degree angle. Hold for a 10-count.
That's the basic alternating wall squat, and it's pretty easy to get right - but pretty tough to do. Hold it for 10 seconds at each position, and alternate positions three times each - for a total of 60 seconds.
Want to make it even tougher? Make it a plyometric exercise by adding curls into the mix, and work out your biceps at the same time as your quads are on fire. Bonus: it stops you from supporting your weight by resting your hands on your hips.
Up the challenge even further by placing a stability ball behind your back. Talk about tough!
If you're a fitness monster, do them with just one leg!