Wall sits can feel intense but your body is not actually moving that much. Find out how many calories this exercise can burn.
Some very rough estimations are that the average person can burn around 34 to 59 calories during a 10-minute wall sit.
Even if you consider that wall sits could help you build some muscle mass, it should be clear that this exercise does not burn that many calories.
I will also go over more in-depth estimations for different body weights and time intervals, how you can burn more calories with wall sits, and how long it could take to lose weight with this exercise.
Biggest factors in calories burned with wall sits
Many people try to balance their calorie intake and burn down to the calorie.
This often does not lead to the expected results because of facts like that it is hard to predict accurately how many calories you burn with wall sits.
That being said, you can still make your estimations somewhat more accurate. For example, by considering the details that influence the number of calories you burn a lot.
These details can also help you change up your wall sit routine to make it more effective for burning calories. A few examples include:
- Body weight: Even if you just sit still, your body burns calories to stay alive. Generally heavier bodies need more calories. Especially in the wall sit because your leg muscles have to hold up more weight.
- Weighted wall sits or not: You can also increase how much force your leg muscles must generate and how many calories they burn by holding extra external weights during the wall sit.
- Body composition: Your body consists of different types of tissues. This is relevant because a certain amount of body fat will burn less energy than the same weight in muscle.
Chart of wall sit calorie-burning estimations
In a cheat sheet from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, there is a rough calorie-burning estimation of 3.5-7 calories per minute for light calisthenics exercises like wall sits (1)
Luckily, you can also get more precise estimations for how many calories wall sits burn by using MET values. These are numbers that represent how much more intense an activity is than sitting still.
In turn, you can use these MET values in the formula below to get a rough idea of the number of calories you burn during the activities.
Formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute
One thing to note is that this formula is far from complete. In turn, you should not take the results too precisely. Your actual results can vary.
Wall sits do not have their specific METs (yet) but one source mentions an MET of 3.5 for light or moderate-effort calisthenics exercises (2).
This should be at least somewhat similar to what you can expect of the number of calories burned during wall sits.
|1 Minute||5 Minutes||15 Minutes||30 Minutes||60 Minutes|
|3 calories||17 calories||52 calories||103 calories||207 calories|
|4 calories||21 calories||64 calories||128 calories||256 calories|
|5 calories||25 calories||76 calories||153 calories||306 calories|
|6 calories||30 calories||89 calories||178 calories||356 calories|
How many calories does a 2-minute wall sit burn?
Many people are also interested in knowing how many calories a 2-minute wall sits burns.
This will be around 7 to 12 calories depending on your weight and other details.
Keep in mind that this already includes the number of calories you would burn by sitting still anyway.
On top of that, by learning that 100 grams of boiled potatoes contain about 87 calories, it should become clear that wall sits are not that great for burning calories (3).
Ways to burn more calories with wall sits
It is somewhat harder to modify how many calories you burn with wall sits compared to other exercises but there are still ways to do this.
The main one will be to do weighted wall sits where you hold or wear some type of weight. This will make it so your body has to burn up more calories to stay in position.
Some examples of these weights include a dumbbell, a weighted vest, a medicine ball, etc.
Something else you can do is build muscle with other exercises. This will again add just a bit of weight to your wall sits.
Lastly, you could do wall sits for longer amounts of time to burn more calories.
The results of these tactics will still not be that impressive but the small amounts are better than nothing.
How long does it take to lose weight with wall sits?
You may wonder if the small amounts of calorie burning from wall sits are enough to lose weight and how long this will take.
To lose weight you need to burn more energy aka calories than you absorb from food. Since wall sits help in this process to some extent you can say they help you lose a tiny amount of weight.
At the same time, your habits in areas like your diet will likely play a bigger role in your weight loss results.
To make this clear, let’s temporarily assume all the calories you burn with wall sits come from body fat.
In that case, a 185-pound (84 kg) person would burn around 357 calories or about 0.1 pounds (0.05 kg) while doing a 10-minute wall sit a day for a week.
After doing the same duration wall sit every day for a month (30 days), this person would have burned an extra 1530 calories or about 0.44 pounds (0.19 kg) of body fat.
Even if you consider the small amounts of muscle you could build, it should become clear that wall sits are not that good for weight loss.
Are wall sits good for burning calories?
While they do help to some extent, wall sits are not that good for burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
Even if you consider that building a tiny amount of muscle mass is one of the potential benefits of wall sits, the number of calories burned thanks to this exercise is just relatively low.
Instead, you want to think more in the direction of more dynamic leg exercises like squats, other resistance training compound exercises, and/or cardiovascular movements.
Lastly, even with these more effective wall sit alternatives, your habits in areas like diet need to be good enough to make it so the calories you burn actually come from body fat and other energy stores.