Half Kneeling: The Flo Rida of Exercise Selections

Every time I hear a new Flo Rida song I go through the same pattern of emotions.  Initially, it's anger and confusion.  After the 15th time, it becomes strangely endearing.  After the 30th, I need to listen to it every day and sing it under my breath for the next 2+ weeks.

 Flo Rida is the salted cashew of the music world.  Strangely addicting.

Flo Rida is the salted cashew of the music world.  Strangely addicting.

After going through this pattern - without fail - since "Low" came out in 2008, you think I would've learned.  But as I was singing "My House" to an empty apartment this past week, I realized that listening to Flo Rida mirrors my emotions with half kneeling exercises.

And to answer the elephant in the room: yes, I am an exercise and physiology nerd.

Anyway, I hate doing any exercise in half kneeling because it always makes it harder.  I also hate it because it makes me feel like an uncoordinated mess - much like when I dance to Flo Rida.  But I constantly sing the praises of half kneeling afterward as it always makes me move and feel much better.

Here are the benefits we get from half kneeling exercises:

-Inhibition or turning "off" of our hip flexors and quads.

-Activation or turning "on" of our adductors.

-Helps us fight extension, aka fighting dat bootay.

-Instructs our brain how to stay upright correctly.

But most importantly half kneeling exercises serve as a complement to traditional dead bugs and front planks.  The ground provides us with stability so when less of our body is on the ground it's harder for us to stabilize on our own.  I'd also argue that half kneeling exercises imitate athletic and everyday activities better than dead bugs.  Suffice to say, if we're not progressing some of our core work into half kneeling, we're leaving some meat on that bone!

But the hardest part about half kneeling is getting into the correct position without falling over.  The most common mistake is below:

 Not good.  On many levels.

Not good.  On many levels.

 Good.

Good.

While the image on the left may look like a good stretch, the truth is that we're really just hanging out on the anterior capsule of our hip.  We'll feel stretching but it's not the kind we want. In the image on the right, the shoulder, hip and knee are all stacked while that handsome man keeps his ribs tucked in. 

After our position is squared away, the world is our oyster.  I like to start people with a half kneeling halo, but you could just as easily do half kneeling chops and lifts.  From there, half kneeling presses or half kneeling rows.

You don't need to have "boots with the fur" or be in "my house" to do half kneeling.  But I have a "good feeling" you'll receive an array of benefits.