How to Do Deep Knee Bends Properly

Deep knee bends are an integral part of our everyday lives. We bend our knees and hold that position ever so often- more often than we would care to admit – when picking something up when getting to eye-level with the little ones, when squatting – the list is endless.

As an exercise, this movement is almost similar to a squat. The main difference is that you drop much lower than you would a squat.

It is a full squat – the real squat, not the workout one where you are suspended somewhere between getting to the ground and standing up.

Moreover, this movement does not guarantee the stability that a squat does, because your feet are not placed flat and firmly on the ground.


  • Start this exercise by standing up in an upright position.
  • Slowly bend your knees, without breaking that erect posture. Do not rush this movement if you want to be stable
  • Raise yourself to the balls of your heels as you continue lowering your body by bending your knees
  • Shift your weight to the balls of the feet once your knees have achieved their full bend. Hold that position

The proper form for this exercise would be an upright posture, related breathing and stable ankles and feet. In the initial stages of this workout, if you are trying it for the first time, you might find that you shake a lot. Do not worry.

That is your ankle reacting to something it has never been subjected to before. In which case should you lose balance, support yourself using your hands in front of you, then push yourself back to the initial position.

You can add more challenge to this exercise by slowly standing up, and then dropping to the deep knee bent position for as many reps as your knees will allow.


The repeated lowering yourself and rising when doing this exercise causes muscles in your calves, glutes, and quads to contact and stretch in equal measure.

This increases the flow of blood to these areas thus strengthening these muscles.



This exercise is one of the most perfect and accessible means to work on the stability and mobility of your feet and ankles.

As mentioned before, deep knee bends are not as stable as squats. When doing squats, you distribute your weight between your two feet which are grounded firmly on the floor.

This gives you balance because of the wider surface area that your feet cover.

This exercise, on the other hand, you literary balance on just the balls of your feet. This tension created in this position will strengthen the muscles around the legs and with repeated execution, you improve mobility and overall stability.


Some people refuse to exercises and get fit entirely because they are under the impression that fitness equipment is expensive. Now, there is some really expensive fitness equipment.

However, there are lots of exercises that do not require any equipment at all! This is one of them. All this exercise requires from you is the will to drop into a deep knee bend and hold that position or walk while in that position. That’s all.



A balanced knee bend adds a twist to the conventional exercise by bringing in an aspect of balance to it. You can balance on just about anything – a beam, a raised surface, an uneven surface.

This will put your balance and stability to the test and help you gain more because the body has to work harder to maintain balance on a surface that is not flat ground.

Do not jump straight to a beam. Perfect the deep knee bend on a flat surface first before you think of being creative with it.


This move may be better known to some people as the duck walk. Just as this moniker suggests, you will basically be waddling along in that position.

If you did not do this exercise during physical lessons, you really are lucky because it was absolutely brutal! But it gets better with practice, so do not worry much.

To do this move, you will follow the steps highlighted for the deep knee bend.

Once you get to the part where you are squatting in the perfect form and holding the balance well, straighten your right knee to take a step forward in that bent knee position.

Do the same to the left leg until you are ‘walking’ in this position.


The biggest mistake you can make when doing this exercise is rushing it. This exercise puts your balance to the test, if you rush it, you topple over. So be patient with yourself even if you in deed topple over.

Do not slouch or round your back, maintain a straight back throughout this exercise.  Do not continue this exercise if you experience extreme pain in the knees whenever you try to do it.


Deep knee bends are one of those exercises that demand so little from us yet give so much in return. For no equipment at all and a small space, you work your legs, ankles and improve your mobility and stability.

If you still want to make this workout even more challenging, incorporate weights so it can induce some aspect of strength-training.

To progress even further in this exercise, try the deep knee bends side shuffle. Unlike the forward walk where you will be walking in front, this move will have you shuffling to the sides.

The possibilities are limitless when it comes to having fun with this exercise.