From The Trainer – February 2014
How are your fitness resolutions working out? It’s common by the second month that your well-intentioned lifestyle changes might be disintegrating earlier than anticipated. Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself less than enthusiastic. As I have mentioned in previous articles, find a reason to stay motivated. Make it personal. Something like, “I want to lose weight because…….” Instead of “I need to lose weight.” Applying true meaning to your fitness goals will make exercise a little easier to tolerate. Keep the momentum going into February because this month will cruise by.
This month’s exercise is called the Kettlebell Wall-Sit. It’s an isometric exercise, meaning there is no movement even though your muscles are working. A typical wall-sit is designed to target the quadriceps femoris muscle group (front of the thigh). The goal is to “sit” in an imaginary chair against the wall for a predetermined amount of time. To reap the full benefits of this exercise, you must establish a 90 degree knee angle. Anything less does not challenge the quads appropriately.
Another mistake is to grab the thighs and push off using your arms. This maneuver, along with leaning forward to “rest” your forearms on top of the thighs is considered cheating. The reason for using the kettlebell (or dumbbell) is to eliminate these cheat moves. First, your hands are occupied holding the kettlebell. Second, holding it with straight arms directly overhead prevents leaning forward. Your shoulder blades should always stay in contact with the wall. Third, it adds more resistance than just your body weight.
Keep your feet hip-width apart and avoid lifting the heels. You don’t want your toes crammed into the front of the shoes. Push through the heels to maintain your position and evade slippage on the floor. Try to hold the wall-sit for at least 20 seconds, and then progress to 90 seconds using 10 second intervals. This is a great exercise to utilize in a lower-body routine. Enjoy!
Written by: Ryan Unverzagt