Learning how to do it can improve your strength, can improve your PR, and is useful for everyone from the athlete to a mother picking up a young child.
Since many athletes have trouble learning how to use their hips in a squat, using the knee variations can help teach athletes quickly how to use the hips. The reason for this is that the knee and ankle joints can not be used at all in this exercise (at least not until the athlete lands from a jump).
For this reason, the kneeling squat is great for beginners, or those just learning how to squat. As with any other squat variation, start with little or no weight other than body weight.
Kneeling squats and jumps are like regular squats and jumps in many ways. The direction of hip movement, the postural position of the trunk, the speed(s) of movement and the way you progress them are all like regular squats.
Note: If you have a hard training surface, you may want to use an exercise mat to take weight off the bony part of the knees.
Technique For Kneeling Squat
To start, kneel on the ground with the tops of the feet as flat to the ground as possible. If performing a squat exercise with resistance, place the bar on the back or hold the dumbbells just as you would on a regular squat.
Sit the hips back until they touch the heels and then return to the starting position. Speed can be changed as weight and/or lifting experience allows.
Technique For Kneeling Hops/Jumps
Start as you would on the squat - in a kneeling position, but this time do not use weight. The arms are overhead. Throw the arms down and back as you would if you were doing a vertical jump (you are doing a vertical jump - only from the knees). Drive the hips toward the heels as fast as possible.
Jump from the hips and try to land on your feet. You can add weight to a bar as you are able.
- Add weight to the jump (be careful on this one).
- Land in split.
- Land in split with weight on "forward" leg.
- Resist squat with cables or bands.
- No counter movement on jump (sit on heels then jump).
Do You Have Questions?
Hope this gives you some ideas to use the kneeling variations of exercises. Send me an e-mail at