The barbell kneeling squat is an isolation exercise which targets the quads, glutes, and hamstrings but it’s also a very unconventional way to train these muscle groups. Now, many people may have never heard of this exercise and they may dismiss it because it doesn’t allow you to utilize a full range of motion.
But… this is false thinking because there is absolutely a time and place for partial reps, especially when isolating a muscle and keeping tension on it. So, with all of that being said, this is a “must-try” exercise and it can take your leg development to another level of size and strength!
In This Exercise:
- Target Muscle Group: Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus, Hamstrings
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Isolation
- Equipment: Barbell, Smith Machine
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Set up the Smith machine so you can unrack it while on your knees.
- Then position yourself on your knees and keep your torso upright.
- Now, unrack the bar with your traps and remain fully erect.
- Lower your butt down until it touches your heels while inhaling.
- Then, thrust your hips forward while squeezing your glutes until you’re upright and back in the starting position. Exhale during this portion of the exercise.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Variations & Tips:
- You can also use a free weight barbell or dumbells to perform the same exercise.
- Always keep your back straight during the exercise, which is especially important with heavier weight loads.
- The barbell kneeling squat is an excellent mass and strength builder for the legs and it’s a great squat alternative.
- The barbell kneeling squat works the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and even lower back muscles.