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5 Standing Exercises to Do with Just a Wall

If you are like most people, you sit a lot including at work, driving, and watching TV. All this sitting can cause stiffness, pain, and even illness such as arthritis, diabetes, and obesity. It is important that you take steps to counteract all the sitting and keep your body mobile, strong and healthy.

The good news is that it doesn’t take that much time or effort to undo a lot of the damage sitting causes.

We all know daily exercise is good for optimizing health. The impact of movement can be profound. For starters, this might lead to increased energy and flexibility. Also, physical activity helps maintain muscle tone, your ability to move and your mental well-being, especially as you age.

If you have access to a wall, you have a no-gym way to sneak in a quick strength and cardio challenge that'll make big changes in your body, mood, and energy levels. With these few simple exercises, you can tone and tighten the areas we all want to work (butt, belly, legs, and triceps) no matter where you are or how crazy-busy your day. Just find an artwork- and furniture-free spot and get to it.

Below is a list of five simple exercises you can do everyday that will really help protect your body and keep you feeling good. These exercises can be done standing anywhere, do not require you to wear workout attire, and do not take up a lot of time. So you can do these at the office, at home, or anywhere you can find some free wall space.

Exercise 1: Chin Tucks

This is the most important exercise to do because it reverses the curve of the spine when you hunch your shoulder and jut your head forward.

To do this exercise:

  • Stand flat against a wall with your feet about one step forward.

  • Push a bit back into the wall.

  • Make sure the back of your head, entire rib cage, low back, and pelvis are touching the wall.

  • Tuck your chin, lengthen the back of your neck and pull your head back into the wall.

  • Tuck and hold your head in that position for 10 seconds.

  • Do that 5 times

Exercise 2: Wall Slides

From the flat against the wall position described above, we can add on and stretch out the shoulders by doing wall slides.

To do this exercise:

  • Start in the same position as you were in for the chin tucks.

  • Take your arms out to the sides like goal posts with your elbows bent.

  • Make sure your arms are flat against the wall.

  • Try to get your wrists to touch the wall without letting anything change in the rest of your body, especially your ribs and low back. They should remain pressed into the wall.

  • Practice holding the goal post arm position.

  • When that is easy, slide your arms up and down the wall like snow angel arms.

Exercise 3: Overhead Wall Touch

Adding on to the exercises you have been doing against the wall, we are going to do an exercise to stretch the shoulders and chest called overhead wall touch. For this exercise, you add on to the previous one where you are standing flat against the wall by lifting your arms straight up overhead. instead of having your arms out to the side.

To do this exercise:

  • Start by extending our arms straight down by your sides.

  • Make fists with your thumbs up like you are giving two thumbs up.

  • Keep your arms straight and reach your arms up and over your head towards the wall.

  • Try to touch the wall over your head.

  • Do not bend your elbows to reach the wall.

  • The elbows need to stay straight and the back needs to stay flat against the wall.

  • If you can not keep your back flat, then stop short of the wall.

  • If this is easy, make a fist and tap your fist against the wall.

  • If that is easy, then flatten out your and tap the back of our hand against the wall.

  • Do the tapping of the hands to the wall (whatever version works best for you) ten times.

Exercise 4: Calf Stretch

You can also use the wall to stretch out your lower body. Stepping back into a lunge will stretch out the calf muscles.

To do this exercise:

  • Stand facing the wall about one step away from the wall.

  • Lunge one leg back

  • Bend the front leg

  • Gently push your hands against the wall

  • Bend the front knee

  • Push the heel of the back leg down. You should feel a stretch in the calf of the back leg.

  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds on each side.

Exercise 5: Chest Stretch

Stretching the chest is a good way to counteract the effects of hunching your shoulders. Another good stretch to do to lengthen the chest is to place one arm up on a wall and lunge.

To do this exercise:

  • Stand so that one shoulder is along a corner of a wall or a doorway.

  • Lift one arm up so that it is slightly higher than your shoulder.

  • Press the arm along the wall so that the elbow and wrist are resting along the wall while your body is to the side of the wall.

  • Lunge the leg nearest the wall back and push your body a bit forward so that you feel a stretch in your chest in the front of the shoulder of the arm that is up.

  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other arm.

These five exercises can be done anywhere without needing to get on the floor or wear special attire or access special equipment. They do not take a lot of time; you can get them all done in about 5 minutes. The exercises are not very complex or intense. The important thing is to do them consistently. You can do them every day or even a couple times a day. The more you do them, the easier they will be.

Think of these exercises the same way you think of brushing your teeth. You don’t really want to do it, but you do it anyway because you don’t want anything bad to happen to your body. You could also think of these exercises like you think of doing the recommended maintenance on your car. You do it so that nothing breaks and to offset uneven wear and tear. The same thing is true for your body.

There are other benefits to the exercises as well. Doing the exercises relieves tension, reduces stress, and resets your nervous system so that you can go back to your other activities thinking more clearly and feeling better.

So give these exercises a try and start moving and feeling better.

About the authors:

Cynthia Croissant had always been active and healthy growing up. But as she got older, staying in shape got a lot more difficult. After getting diagnosed with osteopenia, she began strength training. She started getting frustrated with the traditional way to lift weights because she kept getting injured. She was determined to figure out a way to get stronger and healthier. So, she got certified by NASM, StrongFirst, Ground Force Methods, and others. Using information from those certifications, she created a program to get herself out of pain and get back to doing the lifting she wants to do and reversed the osteopenia.

Now, she is passionate about sharing her simple system for resetting your body and helping other people get stronger, move better, and improve their wellness.

Madur & Anitha Jagannath are certified Nutrition Consultants, in addition to their professions in technology and human resources. When Madur started feeling lethargic and slowing down, he started exercising regularly, became conscious of healthy eating habits and nutrition. He is an avid runner and does half-marathons often. At Voyage to Wellness, they attribute our reputation to the lasting customer relationships they have developed throughout the years. They believe in health & wellness and being fit, at all stages of people's lives.

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