So what is the kneeling squat?
I thought the best way to set up for the kneeling squat was to put the barbell in my Power Rack at around shoulder level from an upright kneeling position. I set the safety bars at the appropriate height and put a thick towel on the floor to support my knees. I crawled forward and loaded the bar on to my back. At heavier weights, I had a spotter (my wife) help put the bar on my back as the starting position is a bit awkward.
You sit on your knees, put the barbell on to your back, and squat so that your hamstrings make contact with your calves. You then explode back up and return to an upright kneeling position.
What is the kneeling squat used for?
It’s an assistance exercise thought to improve your squat and deadlift, by teaching aggressive hip extension and to help with glute activation. Many people nowadays have poor glute activation, due to the dominance of sedentary lifestyles (sitting at desks all day!). If you sit a lot, you probably have poor glute drive.
Beneficial to Olympic lifting?
If you’re an Olympic lifter, then I’m sure the kneeling squat may be very beneficial in improving your hip drive. Since the snatch and clean and jerk require explosive hip power, the kneeling squat mimics the full extension of those lifts.
Since I’ve only just started doing them, I don’t know what impact they’ll have on my lifts but I’m going to continue doing them for a few weeks and see what happens. If you’ve tried the kneeling squat exercise, I’d love to know how you find it?