Whether you’re short on space, time, or budget, getting creative with your workout routines can lead you straight into a wall—literally. Find a cozy corner at home or at the gym and hit up these great wall-friendly moves for a solid, full-body workout.
Wall exercises are a perfect way to engage stabilizer muscles in the core, shoulders, and hips. You can increase or decrease the intensity of an exercise by positioning yourself on the wall at different angles. The options for a fun exercise routine are endless. Clear some space and let’s work up a sweat!
Incline wall push-up
This is a good way to modify the standard push-up and work on strength and stability. The farther away from the wall, the more intense the exercise becomes.
Stand about half your body’s length away from the wall with arms extended at shoulder height and hands pressed firmly into the wall. Brace the core and glutes. Move your chest toward the wall by bending the elbows and tracking them behind the body. Press back to starting position.
This more advanced push-up challenges the core and chest muscles more than our first push-up variation. Place your feet on the wall and get into a strong plank position with core and glutes braced. Lower the chest to the floor by tracking the elbows behind the body. Press back to starting position. Keep a strong brace with the core to avoid arching the low back.
Incline pike push-up
Target the shoulders with this beginner pushing move. Stand a few feet away from the wall, enough so your arms extend overhead in a hip hinge position. Bend at the elbows, moving the top of the head toward the wall. Press back to starting position and repeat.
Ready to invert? Stand with your back toward the wall and place your hands on the floor. Walk your feet up the wall until you are in an upside-down crouched position. Extend the legs to form an “L” shape with your body. Return to crouch position and repeat.
Incline mountain climber
Target the core with this modified mountain climber. Stand about half your body’s length away from the wall, with hands at shoulder height. Brace the core as you bring your right knee toward your chest. Contract the abdominal muscles as you rotate the knee slightly. Lower back to starting position and repeat on the left side.
Decline mountain climber
Turn this move upside down and take it to the floor. Place your feet on the wall with your hands beneath your shoulders. Get into a strong plank position with core and glutes braced. Bring your right knee toward your chest, contracting the abdominals as you rotate slightly. Return to starting position and repeat on the left side.
Challenge your quads with this classic exercise. Stand about one foot’s distance from the wall with your back touching the wall. Bend at the knees and hips to squat into a position that is deep enough to target your quads and hamstrings, but also comfortable for your knees. The goal is to sit parallel with your hips slightly below your knees. If this is uncomfortable, sit up a bit so your squat isn’t as deep. Set a timer for 10 to 60 seconds based on your level of fitness.
Single-leg wall sit
For an even bigger challenge try the wall sit while balancing on one leg. Step one foot’s space away from the wall with your back resting on the wall surface. Bend at the knees and hips to sit into a comfortable squat position. Extend the right leg in front of you. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds and switch to the other side.
Time to fire up those glutes! Lie on the floor with your feet on the wall at a 90-degree angle. Brace the core as you raise the hips toward the ceiling. Squeeze the glutes and avoid arching the low back. Lower to starting position and repeat.
Single-leg hip bridge
Increase the intensity by working one side at a time. Lie on the floor with your left foot on the wall at a 90-degree angle. Extend the right leg so the heel points toward the ceiling. Brace the core as you raise the hips toward the ceiling. Squeeze the glutes and avoid arching the low back. Repeat on the other side.
Putting it All Together
Got these moves down? Time to get to work. Below is a beginner and intermediate wall workout you can take anywhere.
Beginner Wall Workout
1a. Wall sit: 3 sets, 10 to 30 seconds
1b. Incline push-up: 3 sets, 5 to 10 reps
2a. Hip bridge: 3 sets, 8 to 12 reps
2b. Incline pike push-up: 3 sets, 5 to 8 reps
2c. Incline mountain climber: 3 sets, 8 to 12 reps each side
Intermediate Wall Workout
1a. Single leg wall sit: 3 sets, 20 to 40 seconds each side
1b. Caterpillar climb: 3 sets, 2 to 5 reps
2a. Single-leg hip bridge: 3 sets, 8 to 12 reps each side
2b. Decline push-up: 3 sets, 5 to 10 reps
2c. Decline mountain climber: 3 sets, 5 to 10 reps each side
- If you see a number with a corresponding letter (2a., 2b.) then those are paired supersets or circuits. Do 1 set of each exercise prior to rest.
- Rest 30 to 45 seconds between sets.
Latest posts by Kellie Davis (see all)
- Why You Should Consider Adding Weight to Your Core Routine - February 20, 2018
- What Is Mind-Muscle Connection? - January 9, 2018
- 4 Effective Ways to Reduce Post-Workout Muscle Soreness - November 21, 2017