Feeling like you’ve lost power in your lower body?
Want to infuse your quads, glutes, and hamstrings with a strength surge to get that power back?
With the aid of a slant board and a kettlebell, you can do exactly that.
In this article, I’ll explain how and why slant board squats are the ideal move to get your lower body starting to feel strong again.
Benefits of Slant Board Squats
The number one benefit of heel elevated squats on a slant board is that it shifts your weight back. When you shift the weight back, the back side of your body will be more open. This will improve your range of motion at three crucial points …
- The knee
- The hip
- The ankle
When you shift your weight back and get a greater range of motion, you will be able to achieve a greater squat depth.
Nearly every problem associated with the squat is related to an excessive forward shift of a person’s weight. One of the most common issues is with the knees. If your torso is weighted too far forward, they will either turn out or cave in.
The slant board brings your pelvis back. This re-orients the hips and knees so that you do not get the caving in effect of the knees.
The slant board squat can also help to manage the pain that is due to not being able to manage the forward weight shift that is often a by-product of flat heel squatting. When you move from regular squatting to slant board squatting, you will notice that it feels far more natural. Any biomechanical pain that you’ve been getting in the knees and hips will be reduced, if not eliminated.
The slant board allows you to move the knees further forward over the toes, while keeping your torso weight back in an upright position. This produces more comfortable loading of the knees and ankles.
The slant board naturally produces a more upright trunk position than any other version of the squat. This reduces the stress placed on the lower back.
The Kettlebell Slant Board Squat
To perform the kettlebell slant board squat, I recommend starting with a relatively light kettlebell. For guys an 8 kg (17.5 lb) and for girls a 5 kg (11 lb) should be about right.
Here is how to perform the exercise.
1. Stand on the slant board with both feet completely on the board and about shoulder-width apart, Your toes should be pointing forward. Hold the kettlebell in front of your chest, slightly away from your body so that you are reaching slightly forward with your elbows.
2. Shift your entire body back as your pelvis tucks under the torso slightly.
3. Maintaining this stacked position, with your rib cage over your hips, and inhaling. Then descend directly down to a bottom full squat position.
4. Without a pause, exhale as you drive back to the top position.
5. Keep your weight back through the heels as you perform a smooth, piston-like action to complete your rep count.
- Do not exaggerate the pelvis tuck under. This will only put your back into a rounded position.
- With this exercise, quality is better than quantity. So doing 5 really good reps where you are going all the way down and operating smoothly is better than doing 15 half-decent reps. That being said, when you have mastered the technique, you should be doing 3-4 sets of 15 reps per set.
- Only do the kettlebell version of the slant board squat after you have mastered the proper technique with the bodyweight version. The addition of the kettlebell may produce a tendency to pull forward, so you need to have the uptight torso and hips back technique on point before adding the extra weight.
- Push through the heel rather than the toe as you push out of the bottom squat position.
Sets and Reps
I recommend doing 3 sets of 15 reps on the slant board kettlebell squat. Your rest between sets should be no more than 60 seconds. You should be feeling the effort in your quads on about the 11 reps of each set.
Make it your goal to increase the kettlebell weight by 2kg every 3rd or 4th workout to keep making progress.
The slant board kettlebell squat is a fantastic exercise to power up your lower body without putting strain on your lower back, knees, hips, or ankles. Add it to your workout routine 2 to 3 times per week for best results