The Wall Slide - Quadricep Strengthening


Wall squat with a Swiss ball. © Brett Sears, PT, 2011

Wall slides are an effective way to strengthen your quadriceps muscles, or quads. The quads are the large muscle group located in the front of your thigh. These muscles work to straighten the knee. They are used during all activities performed in the upright position.

Therapists use wall slides when they want to target weak quadriceps muscles. By strengthening the quads, knee joint support and entire leg stability is increased.

Injuries that will benefit from wall slides include:

  • quadricep strains
  • immobilization after a fracture
  • inability to bear weight on a leg for an extended period of time

Wall slides can also be beneficial in rehabilitation periods after surgeries such as:

This rehabilitation is advanced, and therefore should not be performed before you get clearance from your physician and proper instruction by your physical therapist.

Starting Wall Slides

Step 1
Photo by Laura Inverarity

Stand upright with your back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart. You may use a Swiss ball against your back for comfort. Be sure your feet are flat on the floor.

Wall Slides

Step 2
Photo by Laura Inverarity

Slowly bend your knees, sliding your back down the wall for a count of five until your knees are bent at a 45-degree angle. (Do not bend too much further than this, as it will cause increased strain on your knees.)

Hold this position for 5 seconds.

Step Three of Wall Slides

Step 3
Photo by Laura Inverarity

Begin straightening your knees for a count of five, sliding up the wall until you are fully upright with your knees straight. Repeat 10 to 15 more times. Exhale as your rise up. Once your knees are fully straightened, tighten the muscles on the top your your thighs for a few seconds. Then, repeat the exercise for 10 to 15 more repetitions.

Edited by Brett Sears, PT

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