Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tired of just sitting around

Unfortunately I saw the old year out and welcomed in the new one with a case of bronchitis that has sidelined me from work and play, and, of course, working out.

Day Ten of doing absolutely nothing finally got to me. I could almost feel my muscles withering away, so I wanted to do something, anything, for exercise that wouldn't cause my lungs to explode or my heart to feel like it wanted to leap out of my chest. Just something to get me up off the sofa or out of bed and moving again.

So I was mentally going through all of the exercises I could think of it when it hit me: wall sits. What better exercise for someone who's supposed to be recuperating than sitting, only without a chair!

I remember first hearing about this exercise many years ago, while reading about how some of the U.S. ski team members would have wall-sit contests to see who could endure the longest. I was impressed at the time that some of them could go for as long as 45 minutes or an hour. I had tried it myself and was lucky to last a minute.

Well it turns out that while 45 minutes might be quite impressive for the average person, or even the typical world-class ski racer, it's nothing compared with what the world-record-holder accomplished. That would be Dr. Thienna Ho, who managed to perform a wall sit for 11 hours, 51 minutes and 14 seconds in San Francisco in 2008. The mere thought of that makes my quads scream.

Here are some photos of her as she sat for the record and visitors stopped by to wish her well and pose with her.

Dr. Thienna went for the record to honor her late mother, who spent the last three years of her life confined to bed because of an autoimmune disorder. Dr. Thienna, incidentally, also holds the record for the most sumo squats performed in an hour — 5,135.

It you want to learn more about how to do a proper wall-sit, take a look here. It's not as easy as it looks, so take it easy at first while building up endurance.


  1. Wow, I'd never heard of wall-sitting before! Hope you're on the road to recovery. And take it easy!

  2. Ah, the things you learn by visiting obscure blogs! :-) And thanks, I'm definitely starting to feel better.

  3. This is one of my favorites! Try holding a medicine ball with your knees at the same time. OUCH! Hope you're feeling well enough to work out again soon!

  4. Thanks for the well wishes, MsMeliss! And I'll have to try it with the medicine ball sometime.