kneeling squat

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

kneel squat

Today we’ll discuss an exercise that tones this … not tomatoes … Your Butt! – 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 butt to a well-tones butt, read on. Also, this article is for men looking to target those muscles.

My girlfriend and I had our babies the same year. And like most people, the notorious mom butt crept in.  You may be wondering, what’s that? A mom butt happens to most women after having a kid.

 But, I think it’s not restricted to moms alone, a young woman can have a saggy butt and some men too.

Well, my friend, tired of the mom butt challenged herself to do at least 3 sets of 10 – 15 reps per day for three month. 

And ey… I think I loved the results more than she did. So, I took up the challenge and three months later, during summer, I was proud of my beach booty.

 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. 

What is the kneeling squats exercise?

First off, I think the butt is the most misunderstood muscle. No, your butt is not all fat. It’s the biggest muscle in your body and has a fat of layer that you need to get rid of and then grow/strengthen this muscle for a jiggly result.

Also, most people believe that if you have a big butt, you are unhealthy. That is also an untrue fact according to this publication

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

It’s an isolation exercise most for the butt though there are some carryover advantages to the quads and hamstrings.

Yes, a traditional squat targets the glutes but is less effective compared to the kneeling squat.

Glute muscles are some of the most stubborn muscles and to work them you have to do exercises that isolate them and work them. Here is how you can perform the kneeling squat at the gym or from the comfort of your home.

How to perform the kneeling squat step by step

Here are steps to follow to maximize your performance of the kneeling squat

Step #1

This exercise requires you to be in a kneeling position, so for your comfort we recommend you get a thick yoga mat.

Step #2

Ensure your knees are wide apart. For proper form, I make sure my knees are at least a few inches apart, shoulder width. Your, behind, 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

So, how many times should you do a kneeling squat? Ideally go for 3 – 5 sets of 12 – 15 repetitions (reps). A full set will have around 15 squats. Take a 60-second rest between the 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.

Muscle 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 it’s a compound muscle, some muscles get less activated than others. A kneeling squat is an isolation exercise. The main muscles worked by kneeling squats are

  • Glutes

Glutes are the biggest muscles in your body. Your butt is made up of 3 muscles

Gluteus minimus – It’s the smallest muscles. It’s also the deepest muscles. 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 glute 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!

  • Hamstrings

As a bonus, kneeling squats also work your hamstrings. The hamstring is a group of muscles on your upper leg; 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

Quads are the muscle groups 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 such as lunges or box jumps.

  • Arms

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.

How to get the most out of your kneeling squats

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 and 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 be burnt out. We recommend you do at least 3 – 4 sets of 12 – 15 reps per day.

Who is this exercise for?

  • Moms

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.

  • Men

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 are like me, repetitive stuff gets boring fast. 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 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/resistance.

This causes your muscles to work harder than when doing traditional exercises, burning 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 anchoring your resistance bands. Make sure it’s tightly anchored 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 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, but remember the more challenging a workout 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 a kneeling position and repeat the exercise. Do at least 3 sets with 10 reps each day.

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 your second nature try the deck squat variation for a sculpted core. 

  • Burns calories

One of the reasons I love the kneeling squats is that they are easy-to-do and burn calories. Also, there are variations to this exercise, ensuring 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 with the kneeling squat jump variation. According to this study jumping from a kneeling position helps develop force. Once your develop strength in your lower body, you are able to do tougher strength training exercises.

  • Improves your posture and boosts confidence

Continuous movement of up and down helps strengthen your back and improve posture. Also, with the burning of calories and strengthening of muscles comes a better, eye catching figure. So, if you want turn heads this summer, start this kneeling squat exercise today.

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