Some of my favorite exercises are performed in the half kneeling position. Exercises such as chops, lifts, paloff presses, overhead presses, rows, etc are a great way to stabilize the hips and challenge the core while doing traditional strength training lifts.
The problem is that most people could get so much more out of lifts in half kneeling position if more detail was paid to the setup. Unfortunately most people never incorporate half kneeling position lifts into their programs because they don’t understand the benefits because they have never really felt the benefits for themselves. Lets talk about a few tips to easily get into perfect half kneeling position.
90/90 Half Kneeling Setup – Proper setup is crucial to get all of the benefits from the half kneeling position. The key to setup is to make sure that the down leg is bearing as much of your weight as possible. It should be as though you are standing on one knee but the front foot is just a kickstand to help you balance. Do this by aligning your down knee directly under the hip and your down foot directly under the front knee.
Get Tall – Get as tall as possible while in the half kneeling position with out bending backwards. You want to have good lumbar, thoracic, and cervical posture, and maintain that posture throughout your lifts.
Square the Hips – I often see people open the hips when in the half kneeling position. Make sure both ASIS are pointing forward.
Lift Your Foot Three Times to Ensure Good Setup – If your not in good position, sometimes lifting the front foot off of the ground very slightly can help get you centered on your hip and back leg. I have my clients check their position by lifting the front foot three times every few reps to make sure they are not sliding out of position as they complete the lift. This almost always works like a charm, and a great tip for program design clients that are not always under your supervision.
Now that you know how to hone in your half kneeling position, go ahead and try out a few presses or chops and maintain that tall perfect posture throughout the entire set. You will know you are in good position when you feel your hips and core lighting up to stabilize you.