Squats are a popular lower-body compound exercise that targets multiple muscles in the lower extremities, including the quads, hamstrings, groin (adductor), hip flexors, calves, and, of course, the glutes. Aside from these, squats also target the muscles in your core. Wall squats with ball are a lesser popular variation of the traditional bodyweight squat that we all know and love. If you’d like to know what doing wall squats with a yoga ball entails, its benefits, and how to do this exercise correctly, read on to find out!
What Are Wall Squats With Ball?
Depending on your fitness circle and their lingo, you may have heard of this exercise by several other names/descriptions. Some refer to it as a ‘Swiss ball body weight wall squat’, ‘squats with exercise ball on wall’, ‘stability ball wall squats’, ‘wall ball squats’, and many others.
Despite its numerous names, this exercise simply refers to – as the name suggests – doing a squat while leaning on a ball that’s placed behind your back and the wall. The ball is often placed in the middle of your back, especially if using something as large as a yoga or medicine ball, but can sometimes be placed at your lower back.
Read More: Do Wall Sits Build Muscle?
What Are Some Wall Squats With Ball Benefits?
Before outlining step-by-step instructions on how to do wall squats with ball, let us figure out what are wall squats good for?
As previously stated, this exercise is simply a variation of traditional squats and thus will have the same benefits as the latter.
Wall squats can help since:
- It strengthens your core (1).
- It can improve your balance and coordination, which in turn reduces your risk of injury. This is especially important for senior adults as well as persons suffering from illnesses that affect their stability.
- It burns calories, which aids in weight loss (2).
- It can strengthen muscles in your legs. Strong leg muscles are not only important for athletes and their athletic ability, but they are also important for daily muscle functions like walking, standing, running, sitting, getting in and out of bed, etc. (3, 4).
How To Do Squats Correctly?
Here’s how to perform squats with a yoga ball on the wall with the correct posture:
Option 1: How to do wall squats with a stability ball
Side note: Stability balls are also known as yoga or exercise balls.
- Place a yoga/exercise ball behind your back. Since this ball is quite big, it will very likely be touching your mid back as well as part of your upper and lower back.
- Lean back on it till it’s supporting your weight properly.
- Check your feet. They should be slightly in front of your body (about 10 inches) and placed shoulder-width apart.
- On an inhale, push back into the ball and hold out your arms or clasp them in front of your chest. Then slowly lower your hips into a squat. Keep your feet flat on the ground – don’t go up on your tippy toes!
- Squat down as far as you can. Stop if you feel any pain, especially in your knees.
- Hold this position for 2 breaths before exhaling and standing and going back to the starting position.
- This counts as 1 squat rep.
- Do 8 to 12 reps for 1 set.
Option 2: Wall squats with the ball for Pilates
Wall Pilates is a great and convenient way to do Pilates at home. For this exercise, you will be needing a pilates ball, which is smaller than your average yoga/exercise ball.
- Place your pilates ball on your lower back and adjust it to make sure that it’s sitting comfortably in the middle of the arch of this body part.
- Follow steps 2-7 as described in ‘option 1’ above.
To make this exercise harder, carry free weights like dumbbells or kettlebells in your hands. Barbells, on the other hand, may be hard to use due to the position of the ball.
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Are Wall Squats With Ball Harder?
The purpose of the ball is to give you support and enhance your balance – two things that might be harder to do while doing basic standing/air squats. It can even help you improve your form as it enhances the mind-body connection during the workout. The ball actually makes this exercise easier to do for certain demographics like the elderly, people with disabilities, and even beginners to fitness.
Wall Squats With Ball Vs. Regular Squats: Which Is Better?
Both exercises work in the same way and target the same muscles so none is especially better than the other. However, for seniors, people undergoing physical therapy, and older adults, wall ball squats may be considered a better option as compared to regular squats. As mentioned above, the ball can help improve your form and support stability.
The Bottom Line
Wall Pilates is a good exercise to add to your wall pilates routine or general lower body gym routine. Not only does it add variety to your regular routine, by reducing boredom, but for older adults and those doing physical therapy, it’s a simple way to gradually build lower body strength.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Comparison of Core Muscle Activation between a Prone Bridge and 6-RM Back Squats (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effects of Body Mass-Based Squat Training in Adolescent Boys (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih)
- Impact of home-based squat training with two-depths on lower limb muscle parameters and physical functional tests in older adults (2021, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Strength, body composition, and functional outcomes in the squat versus leg press exercises (2016, researchgate.net)