The Overlooked Workout Tool
Walls have a place in every stage of your routine.
No matter where you are, every room provides a diverse training tool that can test your body pre-workout, engage every muscle during your session, and help you recover afterward: a wall.
Incorporate these three moves into your routine to help you warm up, build strength, and cool down. For the last two exercises, you’ll need enough open floor space next to the wall to lie down.
Warm-Up: Test Press (Wall Angel)
The benefits: This move tests your readiness to perform a standing barbell press. If you can’t complete this move, or you’re working back from an injury, incorporate it into your warm-up every day until you can.
How to do it: Stand with shoulder blades, butt, and heels against a wall, feet hip-width apart. Raise arms out to sides in a goalpost position, elbows slightly lower than shoulders, palms facing away from you. Extend arms overhead, keeping backs of hands against the wall. Bend elbows to return to start.
The benefits: Beyond helping you work toward a full handstand, this exercise builds strength throughout the entire body, from shoulders to fingers to calves.
How to do it: Walk your feet partially up a wall or on top of a plyo box. (This can be done in an inverted-L shape or a plank depending on fitness level.) Walk your feet up the wall even further, keeping your core tight. Once you feel like you are comfortable, shrug your shoulders up to your ears, squeeze your bottom, keep your legs straight, and hold for 20 seconds. Then walk your hands and feet back out.
Cool-Down: Supported Vertical Leg Extension
The benefits: This yoga pose stretches the hamstrings and calves and shifts your body into rest-and-digest mode to encourage recovery after a tough workout.
How to do it: Place a folded blanket on top of a yoga mat and a bolster against the wall. Sit on the bolster with one shoulder touching the wall and in one movement, rotate your body to lie down on the blanket and rest your legs straight up on the wall. Rest your head on the mat with arms out to the side or on chest. Hold for 5 to 20 minutes.