kneeling squats

Kneeling Squats: How-To (Video), Muscle Worked and More

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kneel squat

Today we’ll discuss an exercise that tones this… not tomatoes… your butt! Introducing… the kneeling squat! 

Kneeling squats are some of the best exercises that work the glute muscles. If you want to change your butt from a saggy behind to a well-toned butt, read on. Also, this article is for men looking to target those muscles.

Kneeling Squats & Your Glutes

My girlfriend and I had our babies the same year. Unfortunately, the notorious mom butt crept in, just like what happens to most people.  You may be wondering, what’s that? A mom butt happens to most women after having a kid. It’s when your behind gives in to gravity and loses its usual perk.

However, I think it’s not exclusive to moms because young women, and even men, can also have a saggy butt.

Well, my friend got so tired of her mom butt that she challenged herself to do at least 3 sets of 10 – 15 reps per day for 3 months.

Do you know what happened after 3 months? She came out victorious and finally got rid of that old lady behind her, getting a bouncy, youthful booty instead! Can you believe that? I couldn’t get over it and was so impressed that I took up the challenge and, sure enough, I welcomed summer with a beach body and a behind I couldn’t be prouder of. All in just 3 months! I was beyond believing and loving it!

I’ll show you my pic later. First, here is what motivated me, my friend’s picture.

See how her backside pops. No more droopy behind.

The Myths about Your Butt

To say that I learned a lot from that experience is an understatement. In fact, I think the butt is one of the most misunderstood muscles in the human body.

#Myth 1 – Butt = All fat

If you think your butt is all fat, you couldn’t be more wrong. While it has a fat layer that you need to get rid of, your butt (aka glutes) is in fact the biggest muscle in your body. You can grow and strengthen this muscle group for a toned, perky result.

#Myth 2 – Big butt = Unhealthy

Most people believe that if you have a big butt, you are unhealthy. That is also untrue, and this published study dispels that myth.

What Is the Kneeling Squats Exercise?

Now, what is kneeling squat? Unlike a traditional squat, a kneeling squat is performed while one is kneeling down.

It’s an isolation exercise mostly for the butt, but there are some carryover advantages to the quads and hamstrings.

While a traditional squat also targets the glutes, it is less effective than the kneeling squat.

Performing the Kneeling Squat

Glute muscles are some of the most stubborn muscles in the body, and to work them, you must do exercises that isolate and engage them. Below, you will find a guide for performing the kneeling squat at the gym or from the comfort of your home.

How to Do Kneeling Squats: Step-by-Step Guide

Here are the steps for the kneeling squat:

Step #1 – Start in a kneeling position, so for your comfort, we recommend you get a thick yoga mat.

Step #2 – Position your knees wide apart. For proper form, make sure that your knees are at least shoulder-width apart. Your back and butt should be straight.

Step #3 – Slowly lower your body until you sit on your heels. Sit gently. Do not put weight on your feet. Just lightly touch your feet.

Step #4 – Lift your body from the seated position to upright. As you sit up, you’ll feel your butt muscles contract.

How Many Times Should You Do a Kneeling Squat?

Ideally, go for 3 – 5 sets of 12 – 15 repetitions. A full set will have around 15 squats. Take a 60-second rest between sets.

How Many Calories Does a Kneeling Squat Burn?

You can burn up to 10 calories per minute and even more when you use the variations listed below. First, let’s see the muscles worked by kneeling squats.

Read Next: Do squats work abs muscles? 

What Muscles Are Worked by the Kneeling Squat Exercise?

The squat is the go-to exercise for most workout buffs because it targets multiple muscles. A traditional squat works abs, calves, obliques, glutes, inner thighs, and hamstrings.

Now, because squats involve compound muscles, some muscles get less activated than others. A kneeling squat is an isolation exercise, and the main muscles worked by kneeling squats are:


Glutes are the biggest muscles in your body, and there are 3 muscles in this group.

Gluteus minimus – It is the smallest and deepest gluteal muscle. The main work of the gluteus minimus is to stabilize your pelvis and rotate your legs inward when running, walking, or standing.

Gluteus medius – Sandwiched between the Maximus and Minimus, the Gluteus Medius is responsible for pelvic balancing. Another variation that can work the medius is the lateral squat.

Gluteus Maximus – This muscle is the biggest gluteal muscle. It helps with hip rotation and pelvic stabilization.

For a rounder, firmer butt, you need to exercise all the three muscles. When doing kneeling squats, you’ll feel a contraction in your butt every time you return to upright position.

This means, you are working your butt, yay!


As a bonus, kneeling squats also work your hamstrings. The hamstring is a group of muscles on your upper leg that stretches from the glute to just behind your knee.

The constant up and down motion when doing kneeling squats will also recruit the hamstring muscles.


Quads are the muscles found on the front side of your upper leg. Quads are used in physical activities such as running and walking. When doing kneeling squats, there is kind of a spill-over effect on the quads.

If you want to work your quads more, we recommend you try other variations such as plies squats or exercises like lunges or box jumps.


I know what you are thinking, squats are for the lower body, why mention arms? You see, like other exercises, there are variations to the kneeling squat. One of these variations includes adding dumbbells.  We’ll discuss more about this later.

Getting the Most Out of Kneeling Squats

If you are a beginner, here are some tips to help you perform this exercise properly and get the most out of it.

Tip #1

Whether you are doing jumping jacks exercises, or bicep push up workouts, or kneeling squats, it’s important to maintain proper form. This helps to protect against injuries

For kneeling squats, make sure you are kneeling in an upright position. When you sit on your feet, your shins should touch the ground. To avoid scraping on your knees, you can use a yoga mat.

Tip #2

Do not overexert yourself. I know this is a beginner issue because I did it as a beginner. I thought if I worked out more I’d get results faster. Yes, you may get results faster, but you’ll also be burnt out. We recommend you do at least 3 – 4 sets of 12 – 15 reps per day.

Who Is This Exercise For?


Butt disappeared as the belly grew? The kneel squat exercise is for you. However, like other exercises, say for flabby arms, you have to be consistent.

I started noticing some changes after the second month. What I would advise is make this exercises a chore, incorporate in your to-do list. Do your reps after waking up or before bed.

Younger women

If you are younger and looking to sculpt your butt for the perfect summer body, kneeling squats are simple yet effective and will get you your dream butt.


If your glutes are lagging behind and are looking for an exercise that will isolate your glutes, you can’t go wrong with this exercise. Plus you can incorporate weights as discussed below.

Kneeling Squats Variations

If you’re anything like me, I get bore fast with repetitive stuff. Within a few weeks, I was kind of bored and could not feel muscle contracting like before. I know it did but… my mind.

Exercise variations are a great way to keep your mind engaged and burn more calories. Here are some variations of the kneeling squat.

Kneeling squats with dumbbells

The first variation is pairing the squats with dumbbells. Dumbbells are the perfect equipment for working your upper body. When lifting dumbbells, you exercise triceps, biceps, and lats.

When doing this variation, start by setting a dumbbell on each side and follow the four steps above. We recommend you go for 20 – 30 lb dumbbells. Hold the dumbbells close to your shoulders for a good workout.

Kneeling squat jump


Now, this exercise is for body builders looking for a challenge. Among the kneeling squats variations, the kneeling squat jump is the most challenging, and remember that the more challenging a workout is, the more your muscles are worked. Here is how to do this exercise.

Step #1 – To get into the flow of things, you can start with one foot. Start your right foot in a squat position and the left foot in a kneeling position with your shin touching the ground.

Step #2 – Then, your left foot should jump into a squat position like the right leg. It’s a simple movement that lets you get a hang of the exercise and improve your balance. Repeat at least 12 – 15 times then switch to the right leg.

Step #3 – Once you get the hang of it, it’s time to do the kneeling squat jump.

Step #4 – Start in a kneeling position with your shins touching the ground.

Step #5 – Jump into a squat and hold the position for a few seconds.

Step #6 – Stand up for a few seconds then go back to the kneeling position and repeat the exercise. Do at least 3 sets with 10 reps each day.

Kneeling squat with resistance bands

I bet you’ve come across the term resistance training. If not, the short of it is resistance training causes your muscles to work against an external force or resistance.

This causes your muscles to work harder than when doing traditional exercises and, as a result, burns more calories per squat.

A good way to add resistance training to your kneeling squats routine is by adding resistance bands.

How to: Start by securely anchoring your resistance bands to prevent injuries. Put the band around your hips, then follow step 1 to 4 above. If you have dumbbells, you can add them to the workout for upper body training.

Kneeling Squat Benefits

Like other exercises, there are numerous benefits of doing these squats every day. Here are the top 5

Sculpts your butt

The main benefit of doing kneeling squats is it tightens the butt. This exercise recruits all the three butt muscles and tones them to give you a firm rounder booty.

Strengthens the core

One of the carry over benefits of this exercise is it strengthens your core muscles. A stronger core means better stability and better mobility. Quick tip here: Once squats become familiar to you, try the deck squat variation for a sculpted core.

Burns calories

One of the reasons I love the kneeling squats is that they are an easy way to burn calories. Also, there are enough variations to ensure that you are never bored. So, once you feel a variation does not give you the challenge you want, switch to another variation.

Improves your strength

This mainly applies to the kneeling squat jump variation. According to this study, jumping from a kneeling position develops force. Once you develop lower body strength, you can do tougher strength training exercises.

Improves your posture and boosts confidence

The continuous up-and-down movement strengthens your back and improves posture. Also, with the burning of calories and strengthening of muscles comes a better, eye-catching figure. So, if you want to turn heads this summer, start this kneeling squat exercise today.