The wall-sit is a classic exercise for building fundamental hamstring, glute, and quad strength. It’s also boring and monotonous, an exercise that leaves you staring at the clock until your legs burn out or time’s up.
That’s why Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., loves adding extra mechanics to his wall-sits, making the basic move more interesting — and more useful for challenging your core, glutes, and hamstrings, too.
Samuel’s Wall-Sit Countup Finisher levels up the basic wall sit to challenge your legs in new ways. First off, you’ll hold a kettlebell or dumbbell at your chest, instantly firing up your core and shoulders more than usual. Then, you start alternately lifting each foot, pushing your body to find stability on just one foot at a time.
“This seems simple,” says Samuel,”but it isn’t, especially if you work to do it with refinement. Your goal — and the challenge of the series — is to keep your upper body quiet and still as you switch feet.”
The process will help you hone your squat mechanics, too. Naturally, your torso will shift slightly as you shift from one foot to the other. There’s only one way to avoid that, says Samuel. “You need to aggressively ground down with the foot that won’t move,” he says. “That means really squeezing your glutes and hamstrings and pressing your foot into the ground as if you’re trying to stomp through the floor.”
The stable base you create off one foot will translate to a stronger base on all your leg exercises. To do the Wall-Sit Countup Finisher, you’ll need a kettlebell or dumbbell. Then you just follow the instructions below.
- Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell at your chest and set up in position for a wall-sit, with your back and shoulders glued to the wall. Your lower legs should be perpendicular to the ground. Make sure your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your legs slightly closer together than you would on a standard wall-sit.
- Tighten your core and flex your glutes and hamstrings. Keeping your right foot planted in the ground, lift your left foot a few inches off the ground by squeezing your abs and hip flexors. Hold for one second.
- Return your right foot to the ground, then lift your left foot, hold for one second.
- Repeat that pattern, holding for 2 seconds on each lift in the second round. Keep repeating that pattern until you’ve done 5-second holds on each leg (or even more).
Add the Wall-Sit Countup Crusher to your leg days as a finisher, aiming to do 3 sets.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health