If you’re looking for a way to truly put your leg muscles to the test, then the Samson’s chair exercise will help you through the use of a wall only.
What is it?
You may have heard of a Samson’s chair exercise being called a ‘wall sit’. Essentially, you lean against a wall with your feet shoulder width apart, similar to a squat position, and then slide your back down so that your knees and hip joints are in line. You want your thighs to be parallel to the floor, feet flat, and core braced. The angle of your thighs is extremely important as if they’re not parallel to the floor, then your quads won’t be getting the right stimulus.
The aim is to hold the position for as long as possible. Increase your time by 5 seconds each time you test yourself and slowly but surely, you’ll work your way up to a minute and more. With static exercises, a lot of the battle is in the mind. As soon as you believe you can’t hold on for any longer, then you won’t. Though, if you keep thinking “just a little bit longer”, you’ll be incredibly surprised by the feats you can manage.
According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the longest recorded Samson’s chair exercise was completed by Dr. Thienna HO from Vietnam on 20th December, 2008 where she held the position for 11 hours, 51 minutes and 14 seconds! According to the records, she also holds the position for the most sumo squats in one hour.
What are the benefits?
The main area of the body the Samson’s chair targets is the quadriceps as they are muscles which hold you up.
There are three main types of strength:
- Isometric – where the muscle does not lengthen or shorten
- Concentric – where the muscle is shortening under load
- Eccentric – where the muscle is lengthening under load
As you do not move throughout the wall sit, the Samson’s chair exercise primarily works on building isometric strength in the thighs.
Are there any variations?
The most obvious variation is to hold the position with just one leg and therefore, place all the stimulus on one side. This is perfect for working on potential imbalances.
If you want to target the lower legs, then you can lift your heels off the floor to bring your calves into action.
You can also make the exercise easier by reducing the angle of your thighs. Instead of a 90-degree angle, try a 60, 45 or 30-degree angle. This will also take a lot of the pressure off your knees.
How many seconds can you hold the Samson’s chair exercise position?