Behold, the blood pressure-lowering wall sit

Behold, the blood pressure-lowering wall sit

What if we told you about an exercise that can be done just about anywhere, builds strength, tightens your abs and can lower blood pressure?

All you need is a wall.

The wall sit — sometimes called a wall squat — is one of those exercises, like planks, that offer a big return on investment.

A recent British study suggests that isometric exercises can help reduce blood pressure more effectively than other types of physical activity, including aerobic, weight training or high-intensity interval workouts.

An isometric exercise is a static contraction, without joint movement.

The research reviewed 270 randomized controlled trials with nearly 16,000 participants. They found that, overall, isometric exercise training was the most effective exercise for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A regular isometric routine of wall sits lowered systolic blood pressure by 10 milligrams of mercury and diastolic pressure by 5.

The study notes that just eight minutes of isometric exercise, three times a week, can reduce blood pressure in a meaningful way.

Before starting wall sits, remember to work your way up. Your upper thigh muscles, or quadriceps, are going to feel these.

Find a wall and stand with your back to it. Take a couple steps forward, feet hip-width apart. Slide your back down the wall until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, like you’re sitting in a chair. If you can’t hold the position, scoot up a bit.

The goal: hold the wall sit for two minutes, rest for two minutes and repeat four times.

Imagine: You can get stronger legs and lower your blood pressure just by sitting — without a chair.

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