The "wall sit" exercise is used in fitness workouts to help burn calories and tone muscle tissues. It's similar in form to a squat, but for some people, it's more challenging because of the way it's performed. You can calculate how many calories you're burning with wall sits, which is especially helpful if you're trying to create a calorie deficit for weight loss.
The standard wall sit is done without any equipment and uses only your body weight. Stand with your back against a wall, place your feet 2 to 3 feet out in front of the wall and slightly bend your knees. Lower yourself by sliding down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground, your legs create 90-degree angles and your knees are over your ankles. You can rest your arms at your sides or place them on your hips. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and then return to the starting position. Try to build the amount of time you perform wall sits until you can hold the position for at least 60 seconds.
Wall sits are primarily a lower-body exercise. They strengthen the quadricep muscles on the front of your thighs, the hamstrings on the back of your thighs and the gluteal muscles of your seat and hips. Your abdominal, back and calf muscles are also engaged and act as stabilizing muscles for this exercise.
Wall sits are a body-weight exercise similar to some traditional calisthenics. The number of calories you burn depends on your weight, how long you perform a wall sit and how hard you're working. According to the Health Status website, a 150-pound person can burn about 5 calories per minute performing moderate-intensity calisthenics. If you hold weights in your hands, or place a ball between your knees, you can make the exercise more challenging. The more weight you hold, the more calories your body will burn.
If you're counting calories as part of a weight-loss program, performing wall sits alone will not help you burn a significant amount of calories. Consider aerobic exercises that burn more calories and target the same muscle groups. Beneficial exercises include running, rowing and working out on an elliptical trainer. According to the Shape Fit website, these exercises burn approximately 300 calories in 30 minutes for a 145-pound person.