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Gray Cook and Dan John talk Tall Kneeling
from the 
Essentials of Coaching and Training Functional Continuums


Gray Cook: Dan and I are offering up activities that work on alignment with integrity under load. This is not about the kettlebell. It’s about anything that forces you to use your best alignment. 

Tall kneeling takes your knees, ankles and feet out of the equation. I don’t want your feet and toes loaded. I do want your feet angling back toward each other, knees wide. You’re basically going to hold the kettlebell in front of you. That’s it. 

I want the shoulders back and down with a relaxed neck. I don’t need you to bend or flex any joints. Push the kettlebell through the ground. How low you can get that kettlebell?

I just improved your alignment without having to do anything.

Some people find those hip flexors for the very first time and hold the kettlebell and bend at the waist. It’s really hard to turn from that position. Bring that kettlebell around behind you. Let’s see if I can get you into a better posture without talking about your posture. Push that kettlebell down. Now, just turn the head first. 

Dan John: I’ve been teaching the squat a long time but I’ve been teaching it by a continuum where on one side, we have the Goblet squat and on the other side, we have the swing—the most dynamic explosive hinge I think you can actually do. 

Tall kneeling is the middle. This position is the top of a squat and this is the top of a swing. That’s why the "kneeling plank" is so good. To teach the hinge, to teach the squat to most people, to teach the hip to most people, you literally have to get it back to tall kneeling.

Tall kneeling is the teaching connector between the squat and the hinge family. 

Gray and Dan’s conversation continues in the video below:


Visit to learn about
Essentials of Coaching and Training Functional Continuums.


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A great companion to her best-selling lecture, The Thoracic Spine.


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