Want to inject some variety into your workout? Try the alphabet workout. That’s where you do exercises that correspond with a word – such as your name.
Sounds like fun, right?
But what if your name is Kara, or Kevin?
Can you think of an exercise starting with ‘K’ – well maybe, but a ‘Kirk’ may struggle to find two of them. After all, there aren’t that many exercises starting with K.
I’ve had to really scratch my head to come up with them, but here they are:
An (almost) complete list of exercises that start with K.
Some of the best exercises that start with the letter K are:
- Kick Butt
- Knee Push Up
- Kneel to Stand
- Kneeling Squat Jump
- Knee to Chest Hug
- Kneeling Plank
- Kneeling Shoulder Tap
- Kneeling Squat
- Kneeling Shoulder Press
- Kneeling Side Kick
- Knee Elevated Ball Rollouts
Let’s take a look at each one and why it deserves a place on this list — plus how to do them!
1. Kick Butt
The kick butt exercise works equally well as a stand-alone exercise and as a cardio warm-up. It will get the blood pumping through your body as it activates your lower body muscles and burns calories.
This exercise can be done as fast as you want – do it as a sprint for 45 seconds to literally kick your own butt.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and then begin jogging in place.
- Kick your heels up towards your butt.
- Continue jogging in place, lifting the heels high and increasing your speed as you go. Continue for the allocated time period.
2. Knee Push Up
The knee push-up is a beginner version of the classic push-up exercise. When you are on your knees, you reduce the weight that you are pushing by about half.
The emphasis remains on the pectorals, triceps, and deltoids.
The knee push-up is a good progression from the wall push-up where you are standing facing a wall with your palms against it and pressing in and out. To make the exercise harder, step further away from the wall.
- Get down on your hands and knees and place your palms directly under your shoulders. Your torso should be in a table top position with a natural arch in your lower back (do not round it).
- Bend your elbows to bring your chest down toward the floor. Go down as far as you comfortably can.
- Push back through your triceps and chest to return to the start position
3. Kick Sits
The kick sit is an underrated functional exercise that needs no equipment and can be done in a confined space. It will strengthen your shoulders, improve hip mobility and core strength.
It is great to add into a circuit routine along with other functional plyometric exercises as kettlebell swings, the Turkish Get Up and Farmer’s Walk.
- Get down on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders.
- Push up to a top plank position with your hands stacked under your shoulders, legs straight back, feet together and body in a straight line.
- Turn your left foot outward, keeping the foot on the floor while simultaneously bringing your right leg under and through your body to the other side.
- Keeping your right foot off the floor, return to the other side and repeat for the required rep count.
- Do the same on the other side.
- Front deltoids
- Hip flexors
4. Kneel to Stand
The kneel to stand challenges you to stand up from a sitting position without using your hands. This exercise primarily works your quadriceps and glute muscles.
Once you get used to performing the exercise and can do it with ease, you can make it harder by holding dumbbells in your hands.
- Sit on the floor on your knees with your butt resting on your heels, Maintain an upright torso position with a natural back arch. Your arms should be at your sides.
- Lift up off your butt and bring your thighs forward so they are perpendicular to the floor.
- Bring your left foot forward and plant it on the floor in front of your body.
- Follow through with the root foot and rise to a standing position.
- Reverse the action to return to the start position.
- On the next rep bring the right foot forward first.
5. Kneeling Squat Jump
The kneeling squat jump is an advanced plyo squat move that develops strength and power through the lower body. It is a natural advance from the previous exercise, the knee to stand.
When you can do 14 knee to stand exercises in a row you are ready to give this exercise a try.
- Kneel on the floor with your thighs parallel to the floor, your torso straight and lower back naturally arched. Hold your hands in front of you in a clasped position.
- Swing both hands back to build momentum and then explode up in a jumping motion to land on your feet.
- Step back down to the beginning position.
- Hip flexors
6. Knee to Chest Hug
The knee to chest hug is a stretch exercise that is very effective at reducing tightness in the lower back and increasing the range of motion through the spine.
- Lie on the floor on your back with your legs together and arms outstretched on the floor.
- Bend your left knee toward your chest, and bring your foot to your body’s midline. Clasp your hands together to hold your knee, and gently pull your knee in toward your chest.
- Pull your knee sideways and down across your body as far as is comfortable.
- Hold for the recommended time, release the stretch, and then repeat on the opposite side. Alternate sides for the recommended reps.
- Erector spinae (lower back)
- Groin muscles
7. Kneeling Plank
The kneeling plank is a modified version of the plank that makes the exercise easier. That’s because the knees take at least half of your body weight.
It still does an effective job of strengthening your abs and core, including your chest, shoulders and arms.
Once you can do the kneeling plank for 30 seconds, you should progress onto the full plank movement.
- Kneel down on the floor with your palms on the floor directly under your shoulders. Your knees should be set about a foot back from your hips so that your thighs are at an angle.
- Straighten your arms, tense your core and hold the position for the required length of time. Maintain a neutral spine position throughout (do not round your back).
- Lower back
8. Kneeling Shoulder Tap
The kneeling shoulder tap is a combination between a kneeling plank and a shoulder press. It is a modified version of the full shoulder tap that takes about half of your body weight away.
Use this exercise as a stepping stone to the full shoulder tap. When you can do 15 reps on the kneeling shoulder tap, try doing the full shoulder tap exercise.
- Get down on your hands and knees with your shoulders stacked under your shoulders and palms on the floor.
- Your knees should be set about a foot back from your hips so that your thighs are at an angle.
- Bring your right hand up and across to tap your left shoulder. Return your hand back to the floor.
- Now bring your right hand up and across to tap your left shoulder. Return your hand back to the floor.
- Continue for the required number of reps.
- Lower Back
9. Kneeling Squat
A kneeling squat is a squat done while sitting back on your heels and then sitting up to a perpendicular thigh position. This is a good option for people who have knee problems.
It also does a great job of working your glutes. It will also improve your hip extension strength. Nearly all of the knee movement is done away with on this version of the squat.
This exercise can be done with bodyweight only and with a barbell across your shoulders. The version described below uses a barbell.
- Load a barbell on a squat rack at shoulder height during a kneeling position. Sit in front of the rack on your knees and load the bar onto your shoulders. Sit back on your heels. Maintain an upright torso with a neutral lower back position.
- Push through your quadriceps to move to a perpendicular thigh position.
- Lower Back
10. Kneeling Shoulder Press
The kneeling shoulder press is a modified version of the standing shoulder press. Doing the exercise on your knees makes it more strict as you essentially take the lower body out of the movement.
That means that you can’t use the legs or buck from the hips to cheat and make the exercise easier. As a result, the kneeling shoulder press is a stricter version of the exercise than the standing version.
The kneeling shoulder press is also a good option for people who have lower back problems.
- Kneel on the floor with a pair of dumbbells in your hands. Sit back on your heels. Bring the dumbbells up to your shoulder levels with your palms facing forward. Maintain an upright torso with a natural arch in your lower back.
- Press both dumbbells over at the same time to bring them together above your head. Stop just short of lockout.
- Lower and repeat for the required number of reps.
- Front deltoids
11. Knee to Chest
The knee-to-chest exercise targets the lower back and the hip flexors. It is a multi-phase exercise featuring four movements performed to a counting beat.
- Lie on your back on the floor with your legs straight and your head raised off the floor. Place both hands under your butt to straighten your lumbar spine, and then lift both legs so that your feet are about 6 inches off the floor. Your knees should be slightly bent.
- Keeping your feet together, bring both knees to your chest for count 1, and then straighten your legs for count 2.
- Repeat this movement for counts 3 and 4 to complete one rep. Repeat for the required rep count.
- Hip flexors
12. Kneeling Stability Ball Rollouts
The kneeling stability ball rollout does a very good job of extending the rectus abdominis muscles with an unstable movement.
The instability of the exercise works all of the stabilizer muscles of the upper body to keep your torso in position.
- Kneel on the floor in front of a stability ball. Place your forearms on the stability ball and lean into it. Arch your back and look toward the ceiling.
- Roll the ball forward to stretch out your arms to full extension.
- Pull the ball back to your body with your elbows.
- Repeat for the required rep count.
- Rectus abdominis
- Lower back
You now have an arsenal of a dozen exercises starting with the letter K that you can call on when doing an alphabet-style workout.
You can also pull out any of these exercises to include in your regular workout.
Another option is to create a circuit out of these dozen exercises, moving from one to the other with no rest. Then give yourself a two-minute break before doing it again. Work up to doing three sets of this circuit for an awesome whole-body challenge.
For more alphabet workouts, check out:
- Exercises that start with H
- Exercises that start with F
- Exercises that start with E
- Exercises that start with L
Hope this helps!