Wall Squat with a Roller

Wall Squat with a Roller

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced.

This wall squat is a simple, functional, quads and gluteal strengthening exercise. By using a roller the squat is made simpler for the beginner. The roller guides your squat, as it sits comfortably in your lumbar spine. It allows you to focus on your hip and knee flexion knowing that your lumbar spine is supported and positioned optimally. The addition of hand weights adds variety and also challenges the upper torso, particularly the shoulder and core.

Set Up:

  • place your roller on a wall, horizontally,
  • place lower thoracic spine/ lumbar spine area ( see tips) on the roller, on the wall,
  • knees should be bent, with feet and knees hip width apart, and feet further out from the wall than knees,
  • the centre of each knee cap should line up with the second toe ( toe next to the big toe) of each foot,
  • head should be neutral, ears lined up over mid shoulder, shoulders over hips, lumbar spine neutral,
  • weights, if using, in hands, arms beside upper body.


  1. gently tighten deep tummy, engage shoulder blade muscles a little,
  2. breathe in, bend knees and hips and lower buttocks towards floor, rolling the roller on the wall,
  3. lower in the range that is comfortable, but not going past knee height,
  4. breathe out, push into heels, straighten knees and hips and roll back up to starting position,
  5. repeat x 15-20. 2 sets.
  6. you should feel mostly thighs and buttocks working.
squat with bicep curl


  • do not lean on or away from the roller; that is, your lumbar spine should stay neutral  throughout and hips should stay in line with shoulders (side on view). The roller should guide your squat,
  • don’t let knees roll out to the side or in toward each other; otherwise this can cause knee pain or clicking (use a small ball between the knees if you have difficulty maintaining alignment).
wall squat with small ball
  • keep weight into your heels, especially as you straighten your knees on return to your starting position,
  • maintain a low level deep tummy contraction and shoulder blade contraction throughout the squat,
  • breathe normally throughout the squat,
  • keep neck and shoulders relaxed.

Make it Harder:

  • add in appropriately sized hand weights and perform any of the following with the squat – bicep curls, shoulder flexion to 90°, shoulder abduction to 90°, scaption, overhead press,
scaption in a wall squatforward flexion in a wall squat
  • use the weight in one hand only, performing all the repetitions on one side only and then changing  sides,  to challenge the core,
  • increase the repetitions up to 40 with weights as above
  • maintain low point of squat, (a sustained squat) and perform any of the weighted exercises as above.
  • try a sustained wall squat
  • use thera-band in hands or under the balls of feet to perform bicep curls, shoulder abduction, shoulder flexion, scaption whilst squatting or holding a static squat.