Breaking Muscle Video – The Stallion

The Stallion is movement we created at my gym. I've always been a fan of kneeling squats, but not how they make my knees feel. Now we can get the benefits, without the drawbacks.

We have been playing around with The Stallion for a little while at EPC with some great initial results. It is a variation of a squat, particularly the kneeling squat, which forces specific muscle recruitment patterns. I’ve always been a fan of kneeling squats due to the overload on the glutes and hamstrings. However the negative drawback of the excessive pressure on the kneecap and patella has led to limited utilization of this exercise.

The Stallion is a kneeling squat done with band tension around the waist to further initiate the gluteal activation with some reactive neuromuscular training (RNT). By doing this, it also significantly reduces the load required on the back and thus the knees on the floor. A pad is still recommended underneath the knees (despite not being present in this video). The safety squat bar (SSB) appears to be an excellent choice for this exercise, as having the weight cantilevered out in front of your body helps counterbalance the band pulling you back. Even so, you may need some help getting to the bar and to be careful of the bands pulling you backwards at each set. If you don’t have an SSB, a standard bar should be adequate and hanging some heavy chains over the front of your neck can help mimic the effect of the SSB.

In the performance of this exercise it is important to drive the hips all the way through, as demonstrated in the video. The action is how the exercise name, The Stallion, was derived. It is also important to sit all the way back and deload the weight onto your heels and calves. This provides the maximal stretch of the posterior chain you can achieve in this exercise, as well as breaking the eccentric and concentric motions. Some people who have trouble firing the glutes properly can still cheat this exercise if they don’t sit all the way back.

When performing this exercise don’t be surprised if you fatigue in some other area besides the glutes. Due to the RNT effect on the muscle activation patterns, this exercise has demonstrated an effect in targeting each particular athlete’s weakness. Outside of the gluteal activation I have seen some athletes experience overloaded hips, hamstrings, and even quads. Personally, it has had a tremendously positive effect on a psoas stabilization issue I have.