It does not matter if you are digging yourself out of the bottom of a squat or trying to lock out your deadlift you are going to need to have a strong hip extension.

So if you are looking to add some additional Glute training and help perfect your Hip Extension, then you need to start including some Kneeling Squats in your training routine today.

This article will include a video, image and written step by step description on how to do this exercise.

Its difficulty level, the equipment you will need to be able to perform it, and the different muscle groups worked.

The benefits you get when adding it to your training routine. Also, some different training tips to help make sure you are getting the most you can get out of this exercise.

How to do the Kneeling Squat

Video Demonstration

Image Example

how to do the Kneeling Squat

Step by Step Description

Step 1: Place a mat down on the floor in a power rack. Place the bar at a height that will allow you to unrack it across the back of your shoulders. Kneel down on the floor. Only your knees and toes should be touching the floor. Unrack the weight and pull your shoulders back and down.

Step 2: Keep your head looking forward, Squeeze your glutes(butt) and push your hips back as you sit back until your butt is touching your calves. Do not just drop your body down. Use a slow and controlled movement. It should take you one to two seconds on till you are resting on your calves.

Step 3: When you get to the heels, you need to use your hip extension and push your body back up. Keep pushing up until you are in the upright position with your back straight.

Congratulations you have now completed one repetition of the Kneeling Squat. Repeat for the number of reps you have selected.

Difficulty Level

The kneeling Squat should be used by lifters who are at an intermediate fitness level or higher.

Equipment Required

For this variation, you will need a barbell and weight plates.

A power rack is useful to help you load the weight onto your back.

You can also do the exercise by holding dumbells at your sides if you do not have access to a barbell and weights. Alternatively, holding a kettlebell in front of you works as well.

Muscles Worked

Since this is an isolation lift the Primary muscle targeted are your Glutes.

You will also target other leg muscles like the Hamstrings and Quadriceps but to a much lesser extent.

Kneeling Squat Benefits

Emg studies conducted by Dr. Bret Contreres aka the Glute Guy EMG studies showed that barbell kneeling squat activates the glutes the most.

Many people barely activate their glutes when performing the traditional squat. Keeling Squats are all about learning proper muscle activation of your glutes and can help you to raise your squatting numbers if you can not currently perform good hip extension.

Hip extension is also essential for your deadlifts. According to TNation, it is also one of their five tips if you want to dominate the deadlift. If you are looking to increase your deadlift, that article is a great place to start.

Training Tips

This exercise is pretty hard on your knees so you should limit how often you perform it and the amount of weight you use. If you have knee problems, do not use this lift. You could look into other moves like the hip thrust to target the glutes, and it will place much less pressure on your knees.

You are going to want to use a higher rep range like 10 to 15. Many people are surprised by the amount of weight they are cable of moving with this exercise. So you will want to use a higher rep amount with lower weight to help protect your knees.

This lift is not meant to get used with your one rep max weight, and trying can seriously hurt your knees.

You need to use a slow and controlled movement when you perform this exercise. Do not just let your body drop to the ground. Allowing your body just to fall significantly reduces the effectiveness of the training. The goal is for you to focus on muscle activation of your glutes.

If you have access to a gym with a smith machine, then you may find it easier to set up proper positioning on it instead.

In Closing

If you have been ignoring your glutes and finding it difficult to get out of the bottom of your squats you should try using kneeling squats for a few weeks to see if it helps.


better challenge

Looking to gain more strength or lose some weight? We offer free fitness tools to help you reach your fitness goals. Register for free while we are in beta and get free lifetime access to our fitness tools that include an easy to use Calorie Counter, High-Intensity Interval Timer, Multiple Fitness Calculators and our Exercise Logger.