Wall workout challenge that you can do anywhere

All you need for this wall workout challenge is a small space and a wall. It will work all your leg muscles, glutes, upper body and core. The challenge starts with an easy 5 reps of everything and 10 second wall sit and builds up to 25 reps of everything and 100 second wall sit.

Wall workout challenge PDF

Wall workout challenge – exercise instructions

General safety

Please read these safety guidelines before you start. Please also note that as the wall sit exercise involves static contraction (that is, you hold your muscles in one position), it is not advisable for anyone with high blood pressure.

If you’re working on a smooth floor surface, make sure you’re not wearing footwear that could slip (like socks).

Do the knee lifts shown below before you start the challenge each day to warm your muscles and joints up.

Warm up

Knee lift PDG

  • Raise your arms overhead.
  • Lower your arms as you lift one knee.
  • Raise your arms as you lower the knee.
  • Lower your arms as you lift the other knee.
  • Keep alternating for a total of 20.

Main exercises

#1 wall push ups

This exercise will work your arms, shoulders, chest and core.

wall push up

  1. Stand at arms length from the wall, feet hip distance apart.
  2. Place your palms on the wall at chest height, a bit wider than shoulder distance.
  3. Allow your arms to bend at your elbows as you lean towards the wall, keeping your body in a straight line.
  4. Push yourself away from the wall back to your starting position.

#2 single leg calf raise

Calf raise

Although it’s the calf muscles that carry out the main movement here, the smaller glute muscles (medius and minimus) and some of the core muscles work to stabilise your pelvis and help you to stay balanced on one leg.

  1. Stand on one leg and rest your other foot on this leg as shown.
  2. Position your hands on the wall, so that your weight is evenly supported.
  3. Rise up onto your toes, then lower and repeat.
  4. When you’ve done all your reps on this side, repeat on the other leg.

#3 bent over leg lift

This mainly works the big glute muscle (maximus), but the abs are also working to maintain the bent over position.

Wall workout challenge leg lift

  1. Bend at your waist until your back is parallel with the floor, supporting yourself with your hands on the wall.
  2. Keeping your back flat, lift one leg until it is parallel with the floor.
  3. Lower and repeat.
  4. When you’ve done all your reps on this side, swap legs and start again.

#4 leg circles

As with exercise #2, the one leg standing position means that your core and smaller glute muscles act to stabilise your pelvis. The circling action involves all the thigh muscles as well as the large glute muscle.

Wall workout challenge side leg circle

  1. Lift your leg to the side, then keeping it lifted, make small clockwise circles.
  2. When you’ve done all the reps, turn around and repeat with your left leg.

#5 wall sit

You’ll mainly feel this one on the front of your thighs, although the other leg muscles are working too, as well as your core.

Wall sit

  1. Stand with your back to the wall, about 18-24 inches away from it, legs hip distance apart.
  2. Using your hands to help support you, bend your knees as you lean your back against the wall.
  3. When your back is fully in contact with the wall, start to slide down, until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  4. Check that your knees are lined up above your ankles – adjust your foot position if not.
  5. Hold this position.
  6. To come out of the wall sit, slide back up the wall and use your hands to push away from the wall.

How to do the challenge

The chart below gives you the repetitions for exercises #1-4 and the hold times for the wall sit. For the leg exercises, the number of repetitions is for each leg.

Wall workout challenge chart

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Challenge FAQs

The first day of the challenge should feel like it needs a bit of effort, but not too much. If you really struggle with day 1, then you probably won’t get through the challenge. The idea with the challenges on this site is that the first few days get you used to the exercises and the daily habit. Usually about halfway through the challenge the effort levels start to increase more quickly.

Avoid challenges that increase effort levels very quickly – they’re simply not realistic. It’s unlikely that, for example, you would be able to increase how many squats you are able to do by 10 a day for 30 days, or increase your plank hold time by 10 seconds a day for 30 days.

In general, allowing muscles 48 hours between workouts is good because it gives our bodies time to recover and adapt. Challenges are generally short workouts and for a limited period of time (usually 30 days), so not having many rest days won’t be a problem. With challenges that alternate exercises each day, it’s not an issue, because you’re using different muscles.

Fitness improvements don’t always happen in a predictable way. Sometimes we’re just not as strong or energetic for no apparent reason, or we hit a plateau. If you get to a point where you’re struggling to complete the day’s challenge, you can try one of the following:

  • Take a couple of days off and start again where you left off
  • Do the challenge on alternate days rather than every day
  • Instead of increasing the effort every day, stay at the same level for 2 or 3 days and then go onto the next day of the challenge

Obviously these solutions mean the challenge will last longer, but you’ll still benefit from doing it.