Kneeling Squats | The In-depth Guide For Success

Kneeling Squat Top Position

Have you been looking for a lower-body exercise that reduces the stress on your knees? The kneeling squat is perfect for those who are looking to improve hip activation or need a low-impact workout.

They’re also great for people who are new to working out because they’re easier on the knees than a regular squat, and many people are hesitant to try them.

By following our simple guide, you’ll be doing kneeling squats like a pro in no time! You’ll be able to do this exercise with ease and without any pain.

Remember to start slow and increase your reps as you get comfortable with the movement.

Kneeling Squat | Benefits

The kneeling squat focuses on strengthening your quadriceps, and hamstrings and sparking glute activation. It also provides an excellent stretch for the hip flexors. The main muscles worked are the quads (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), and glutes (buttocks). This exercise works many smaller supporting muscles as well. Kneeling squats can be performed with or without weight, and you can do them almost anywhere!

It’s easy enough for beginners. Plus there are lots of different ways to change up the kneeling squat so that you never get bored.

Standard benefits of the Kneeling Squat:

  • Improved quadriceps, hamstring, and glute activation
  • Increased flexibility in the hip flexors
  • Easier on the knees than traditional squats

Emotional benefits:

  • Feel stronger and more flexible after just a few weeks of practice.
  • Enjoy the challenge of this exercise and see progress over time.

Kneeling Squat | Muscles Worked

Kneeling Squat Muscles Worked:

The quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, core, hips, and spinae erectors are all muscles worked with the kneeling squat. Each of these muscles has its own benefits, which are as follows:

The quadriceps muscle group is responsible for extending the knee joint. As a result, the kneeling squat can help to strengthen this muscle group, which can, in turn, reduce the risk of knee injuries.

The glutes are the largest muscles in the body and are responsible for hip extension. As a result, the kneeling squat can help to strengthen these muscles. Better glute strength can improve your overall mobility and reduce the risk of injuries.

The hamstrings are a group of three muscles that are located at the back of the thigh. These muscles are responsible for knee flexion and hip extension. As a result, the kneeling squat can help to strengthen these muscles, which can improve your overall mobility and reduce the risk of injuries.

The core is a group of muscles that includes the abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back muscles. These muscles are responsible for stabilizing the spine and pelvis. As a result, the kneeling squat can help to strengthen these muscles, which can improve your overall stability and reduce the risk of injuries.

The hips are a group of three bones that connect the femur (thigh bone) to the pelvis. The muscles that attach to these bones are responsible for hip flexion, extension, and rotation. As a result, the kneeling squat can help to strengthen these muscles, which can improve your overall mobility and reduce the risk of injuries.

The spinae erectors are a group of muscles that run along the spine from the pelvis to the head. These muscles are responsible for stabilizing the spine and keeping the vertebrae in alignment. As a result, the kneeling squat can help to strengthen these muscles, which can improve your overall stability and reduce the risk of injuries.

Kneeling Squats Bottom Position

How To Do The Kneeling Squat

Here’s how to do bodyweight kneeling squats:

  1. Start in the kneeling position on the ground with your feet together and knees at or past shoulder-width apart.
  2. From the starting position, Slowly lower your body towards the ground, keeping your back straight.
  3. Stop when your thighs are roughly parallel to the ground. Then press back up to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 10-12 reps.
  5. You can make this exercise harder by holding a weight in your hands.

Tips For Execution:

  1. Place your knees on a soft surface such as a mat or pillow.
  2. Keep your core engaged through the movement.
  3. Hold your hands together with your elbows tucked for improved balance
  4. Get a full range of motion by squatting until your glutes touch the back of your ankles.
  5. For better glute activation squeeze at the top of each rep.

Kneeling Squat | Example Workout

An example workout for the kneeling squat would be to do 5 sets of 10-15 reps. You can also add weight to make it more challenging. Start with your body weight and then progress to using dumbbells, a barbell, or a weighted vest. If you are new to this exercise, it is important to start slow and focus on proper form. As you get stronger, you can increase the intensity by adding more weight or doing more sets.

  • Make sure to use a full range of motion
  • Use a weight that allows you to maintain proper form
  • Perform slow and controlled reps to feel the burn in your muscles

When done with proper form, it is a low-impact exercise that is safe for most people to do. Kneeling squats can be incorporated into many different types of workouts, so experiment to find what works best for you.

Mistakes To Avoid With The Kneeling Squat

  • Failing to keep the spine neutral – When you squat, make sure to keep your spine in a neutral position. This means that you should avoid rounding or arching your back.
  • Overreaching the range of motion – Make sure not to over rep at the top of the movement. A common mistake is to bring the hips forward too far. Try to keep everything engaged throughout the movement and stop at a comfortable height.
  • Not maintaining good balance – As you squat, be sure to keep your weight evenly distributed through your legs. This will help you maintain a good balance and avoid falling over.
  • Rising up too quickly – When you come up from the squatting position, do so slowly and controlled. Avoid rising up too quickly, as this can lead to injury.
  • Not going low enough – In order to reap the benefits of the kneeling squat, be sure to lower your body until your thighs are roughly parallel with the ground.
  • Holding your breath – When you hold your breath during any type of exercise, it can raise your blood pressure and put a strain on your heart. Be sure to breathe evenly throughout the squatting movement.

Kneeling Squat | Variations

Below is a list of kneeling squat alternatives to the bodyweight version. Before trying these weighted variations it’s important to know that although this exercise is meant to reduce stress on the knees. Using too much weight can have a negative impact because of the kneeled positioning during this movement.

Barbell Kneeling Squats

The barbell kneeling squat is a great way to introduce weight into the movement and get used to working with a barbell. It is also a great way to increase the intensity of your squats.

If you plan to do a traditional barbell squat this is a good way to get used to the feeling before diving into the standing version.

Smith Machine Kneeling Squat

The smith machine kneeling squat is a great way to increase safety and stability when squatting with weight. However, it does remove some of the benefits of a regular kneeling squat, such as working to improve stabilization because the smith machine does this for you.

Resistance Bands Kneeling Squat

Resistance bands kneeling squats are a great way to add an extra challenge to your squats. By adding resistance, you’ll be able to work your muscles harder and see results faster without needing access to actual weights.

To do a kneeling squat with resistance bands, start by putting a band around your shoulders/traps. Then, kneel down on the band, with your knees shoulder-width apart. Once you’re in the kneeling position, lower your body down into a squatting position, making sure to keep your knees evenly secure on the band. Return to the starting point and repeat for 10-12 reps.

Resistance Band Kneeling Squat

Other Variations

Weighted vest version:

Using a weighted vest is another way to add weight to the movement that doesn’t require access to dumbbells or barbells.

Dumbbell version:

If you have dumbbells available try doing the single or double dumbbell variations of this exercise. For the single dumbbell grasp the dumbbell firmly with both hands and hold it at about chest height.

To do the double dumbbell version hold one dumbbell in each hand above your shoulders at about ear height.

Kneeling Squat | Conclusion

To conclude, the kneeling squat is a great lower body exercise for those who want to increase their strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. They are easier on the knees than traditional squats, making them perfect for beginners or those with knee pain. With a little practice, you’ll be able to do kneeling squats like a pro!

  • Improve quadriceps, hamstring, and glute strength
  • Increased flexibility in the hip flexors
  • Easier on the knees than regular squats
  • A great lower body exercise for those who want to increase their strength, flexibility, and overall fitness.
  • Perfect for beginners or those with knee pain.

Kneeling squats are an exercise that provides an excellent challenge for those who are looking for a way to build muscle without the added risks.

Give them a try on your next leg day!

Eric Decremer
Eric Decremer

Eric is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and competes in the USPA Powerlifting Association. Feel free to contact him anytime at edecremer@wildnswole.com!

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