Wall Jefferson Curl
Exercise Type: Loaded Stretch
Equipment Needed: Handheld weight, e.g., Dumbbell
Primary Focus: Lower Back (Spinal Erectors)
Secondary Focus: Hamstrings
Similar Movements (Same Equipment): Jefferson Curl
Similar Movements (Other Equipment): N/A
This is a variation of the standard Jefferson Curl that takes out the hamstring stretch. Because of that, it can be considered not only a loaded stretch for the lower back, but also a quite nice Isolation for the lumbar spinal erectors.
There are no pre-requisites to this exercise. It can be done by anyone with the available equipment. Having said that, if you are new to the movement, you should do it with low (1-2kg) or no weight at all.
How to Perform:
To perform this exercise, lean against a wall so that the back of your pelvis is in full contact with the wall.
From here, you should aim to curl up like a pill-bug. First tuck your chin to your chest, then try to peel your back off the wall one segment at a time as you reach your hands (or the dumbbell if you’re holding one) down your legs.
At some point, you will reach the end of your back’s ROM and won’t be able to go any deeper without tilting your pelvis forward. You should maintain pressure between your sacrum (back of your pelvis) and the wall so that your pelvis doesnt move at any point. Don’t feel like you need to go deeper, and then lose this positioning, or it nullifies the point of using the wall.
From here at the bottom of the movement, you should try to reverse this curl-up motion so that your lower back touches the wall first, then your upper back, then the back of your head. This sequence of events is doubly important on the way up compared to the way down, so make sure you really lead the ascent by reaching your lower back to the wall first.
You can adjust how you do this by reaching your feet a little further away from the wall. There is no objective benefit to this, but some may find it nicer, more comfortable, easier to coordinate, etc.,
Another variation involves doing it in a high ‘wall sit’ position, as shown below. Similarly, the differences here are largely due to preference. Try out all 3 and see which one feels nicest to you.