Tips, Technique, Benefits and More

Linda D. Garrow

Wall slides are a movement that is often used in physical therapy or to help someone improve their balance and strength after an injury or surgery. They are done by placing your hands against the wall and repeatedly kicking your feet up behind you for a certain number of repetitions.

How to Do Wall Sides: Correct Form

There’s no wrong or right way to do wall slides, so if you can’t seem to get the hang of them, experiment with different techniques as much as possible until you find one that works for you. And remember: when in doubt, always consult with your doctor before beginning any new workout regimen.

To do the wall sides:

  • Stand with your back against a wall and spread your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Bring your arms up and press your shoulder blades into the wall, keeping your thumbs at about head height.
  • Your upper arms should make a straight line from elbow to shoulder, perpendicular with the floor.
  • On your back, slide down the wall until your knees are bent at a 45-degree angle.
  • Bend your elbows until your arms are extended straight up over your head but still against the wall.
  • Hold this posture for 5 seconds, then switch sides.
  • Exhale as you slide back up the wall, pushing off with your feet and pulling with your arms until you are fully upright.
  • Repeat for 5 reps, gradually working your way up to 10 or 15 reps per set as your quad strength improves.

Tips and Techniques for Wall Slides

  • When you’re first starting out, one set of reps per day will be sufficient. Progress slowly and stop if you feel pain or difficulty.
  • Eventually, you may want to increase the number of reps or sets you do in a single workout.
  • If you add in the use of hand weights, be sure not to choose ones that are heavy enough for your body but not so much so that that your form suffers.
  • You’ll be doing yourself harm by increasing your risk of strain or fatigue that could lead to injury.
  • Although wall slides appear easy, it’s important that you don’t do the exercise too early in the rehabilitation process.
  • When you perform wall slides too soon after an injury, illness, or surgery, you risk slowing your rehabilitation or putting yourself at danger of further injury.

Before doing the wall slides, check with your doctor if you have an injury or instability in your knees, or a ruptured or torn ligament in your knee or ankle (such as the anterior cruciate ligament or the Achilles tendon.)

4 Reasons to Do Wall Slides Daily

1) Improve T-Spine Mobility

Helps in improving the T-spine mobility. (Image via Unsplash / Chuttersnap)
Helps in improving the T-spine mobility. (Image via Unsplash / Chuttersnap)

Wall slides improve upper-back mobility by activating your upper back extensor muscles and keeping your upper back relatively straight (versus hunched over). You’re essentially reversing the flexed upper back position that most people maintain when sitting during this action.

2) Support Good Posture

Wall slides improve your posture. (Image via Unsplash / Christina Wocintechchat)
Wall slides improve your posture. (Image via Unsplash / Christina Wocintechchat)

Proper posture can prevent back pain, headaches and heartburn, among other problems. Wall slides can help you improve your posture by training your body to sit straighter and more upright.

They will also open up and stretch out the front of your shoulders and chest muscles, especially your pectoralis muscles, while the backs of your shoulders contract and activate. In other words, they help to prevent the frequent instances of chest caving and shoulder slouching while sitting.

3) Reduces Neck & Back Pain

Reduces neck & lower back pain. (Image via Pexels / Karolina Grabowska)
Reduces neck & lower back pain. (Image via Pexels / Karolina Grabowska)

Wall slides are a great way to activate and contract your upper back extensor, lower neck extensor, deep neck flexor muscles, and core muscles. This all helps improve your sitting posture and decreases the likelihood of becoming tight and tense in these areas. Translation: You’ll have fewer aches and pains in places like your neck and back.

4) Improve proprioception

Helps you to work on the position & movement of your body. (Image via Pexels / Karolina Grabowska)
Helps you to work on the position & movement of your body. (Image via Pexels / Karolina Grabowska)

Wall slides are also great for working on your position and movement of the body—or body awareness. This will help you figure out what good alignment really feels like.

Common Mistakes

Bending Your Knees More Than 45 Degrees

Knees should be bent at a maximum of 45 degrees during wall slides. If you allow your knees to bend any more than this, you’ll be putting yourself at risk of injury.

Losing the correct posture

While performing wall slides, you may feel yourself losing focus. When this happens, remember that the move isn’t getting too easy—you may simply be slacking on proper form. Go slow and make sure that your arms and knees are in the right position at each step of the exercise.

Bottom Line

Wall slides can be a great way to work out and to keep your fitness up when you don’t have access to a gym.

Whether you’re looking for quick exercises, if you like to incorporate wall slides with heavier weight lifting moves, or just is about getting home with little to no equipment, wall slides offer an easy solution. Just be sure to remember these tips, and you’ll have something that you can enjoy for years to come.

Q. Have you tried the wall slide exercise?

Yes; helps with my posture!

Nope; this is new for me.

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