Despite being somewhat unknown, the kang squat is an incredibly effective exercise that comes with a myriad of benefits.
So what is the kang squat, and how can we get the most out of this exercise to see tremendous muscle and strength gains?
These are both great questions, and we will answer both in this article. Let’s get right into it and take a look at the kang squat.
What is the Kang Squat?
The Kang Squat, also known as the Shin-Ho Kang Squat, is a dynamic lower body exercise that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
Named after the renowned strength and conditioning coach Shin-Ho Kang, this squat variation adds complexity and challenge to the traditional squat by incorporating a deadlift movement pattern.
The Kang Squat engages the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, core, and more, making it an effective exercise for building strength and stability in the lower body.
How To Do Kang Squats
Here Are The Steps
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing slightly outward.
- Hold a barbell or a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs with an overhand grip.
- Brace your core, keep your chest up, and maintain a neutral spine.
- Initiate the squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. As you lower the weight, simultaneously hinge at your hips, moving the barbell or dumbbells down toward the ground.
- Continue the squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, and the barbell or dumbbells touch the ground.
- Push through your heels to rise back up, reversing the movement pattern by straightening your knees and hips.
- At the top of the movement, stand tall with the barbell or dumbbells in front of your thighs.
- Repeat the squat for the desired number of repetitions.
Muscles Worked by Kang Squats
1. Gluteus Maximus
The Kang Squat heavily activates the gluteus maximus, which is the largest muscle in the buttocks. It is responsible for hip extension during the upward phase of the squat.
The quadriceps, located in the front of the thighs, are engaged throughout the entire movement, assisting with knee extension.
The hamstrings, located on the back of the thighs, help stabilize the hips and contribute to knee flexion during the downward phase of the squat.
The soleus, a calf muscle, assists in maintaining balance and stability during the squat.
The adductors, inner thigh muscles, help stabilize the knees and assist with hip adduction during the movement.
6. Erector Spinae
The erector spinae muscles, located along the spine, support the back and help maintain a neutral spine during the squat.
The core muscles, including the rectus abdominis and obliques, stabilize the torso throughout the squat.
Safety First: How To Improve Your Form And Prevent Injury
To perform Kang Squats safely and effectively, keep the following tips in mind:
- Master the Basic Squat: Before attempting the Kang Squat, ensure you have a solid foundation in performing the traditional squat with proper form.
- Use Appropriate Weight: Start with lighter weights to focus on technique and gradually increase the load as you become more proficient.
- Maintain Neutral Spine: Keep your back straight and avoid rounding your lower back during the movement to prevent injury.
- Control the Descent: Lower the weight with control and avoid letting it drop rapidly, especially if using a barbell.
- Engage Your Core: Keep your core muscles tight throughout the squat to support your spine and maintain stability.
- Warm-Up: Always warm up your lower body and perform dynamic stretches before attempting Kang Squats.
Squats With Benefits: All The Reasons This Squat Is Great For Your Bod
- Full-Body Engagement: By combining the squat and deadlift patterns, Kang Squats engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making it a highly efficient exercise.
- Strength and Power: This compound movement builds lower body strength and power, helping you become more explosive in sports and daily activities.
- Increased Hip Mobility: The hip hinge in the Kang Squat enhances hip flexibility and mobility.
- Core Stability: Balancing the weight during the movement challenges your core muscles, leading to improved stability.
- Functional Strength: The Kang Squat mimics movements used in everyday life, making it a functional exercise for real-world activities.
Other Squat Variations: How Is The Kang Squat Different From A Normal Squat?
1. Split Squat
The split squat involves standing with one foot forward and the other foot backward, with the back foot elevated. This variation emphasizes single-leg strength and balance.
2. Overhead Squat
In the overhead squat, you hold a barbell or a weight plate overhead while performing a squat. It demands excellent mobility and stability.
3. Goblet Squat
The goblet squat is performed with a dumbbell or kettlebell held close to the chest, which helps maintain an upright torso.
4. Sumo Squat
The sumo squat involves taking a wide stance and pointing the toes outward, emphasizing the inner thighs and glutes.
5. Squat Jacks
Squat jacks combine the squat motion with a jumping movement, providing a cardiovascular component to the exercise.
6. Cossack Squat
The Cossack squat involves performing a deep squat to one side while the opposite leg is fully extended to the side.
Who Should not do the Kang Squat?
Beginners: If you are new to strength training, focus on mastering the basic squat before attempting the Kang Squat.
Those with Lower Back Issues: If you have a history of lower back injuries or discomfort, consult a healthcare professional before performing this exercise.
Individuals with Poor Mobility: Proper hip and ankle mobility are essential for performing the Kang Squat safely. If you have limited mobility, work on improving it before attempting this exercise.
The Kang Squat is a challenging and effective variation of the traditional squat that targets multiple muscle groups in the lower body.
With proper form and technique, it can enhance your strength, power, and functional fitness.
However, it’s crucial to approach this exercise with caution, especially if you are a beginner or have any existing injuries.
Incorporate the Kang Squat into your lower body workout routine to experience its many benefits while maintaining safety and gradually progressing your training.
Always listen to your body and consult a fitness professional if you have any concerns or doubts about this exercise. Happy squatting!
Kang Squat – FAQs
What Is A Kang Squat?
A kang squat is a cross between the traditional squat and good morning.
What Are The Benefits Of The Kang Squat?
The benefits of the kang squat are quad and glute growth as well as additional hamstring growth.
Are Kang Squats Effective?
Yes, kang squats are effective.
They are a great compound movement that target the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and lower back.
What Does Kang Squat Target?
The Kang squat primarily targets the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and back.
It is a combination of the back squat, hack squat, and good morning.
We hope we have been able to help you.
If you decide to incorporate the kang squat into your routine, you may just come to find you have a new favourite leg exercise.
For more fitness advice, head over to MovingForwards.
Catch you next time.