Julie Lohre performs the most popular bodyweight exercise, the Air Squat
What is an air squat?
Air squats, more commonly known as bodyweight squats, are often used in training programs like CrossFit and other plyometric workout routines. They are done using only your own body weight, while regular squats may use additional weights instead with use of barbells or dumbells. This exercise target your thighs and glutes.
To do an air squat:
– Keep your feet at shoulder width apart and pointed straight ahead.
– When squatting, your hips will move down and back.
– Your lumbar curve should be maintained, and your heels should stay flat on the floor the entire time.
– In air squats, your hips may descend lower than your knees.
In both air and regular weighted squats, when rising from the squat position you will want to drive up (push up) through the heels, using the glutes to return to the standing position.
How to do air squats: Proper form and safety
Like all exercises, you should always use the proper form when doing air squats so that you get the full benefits and don’t injure yourself. This means stretching and warming up first.
How can I improve my air squat?
When doing an air squat, following these simple steps will help you improve this exercises effectiveness:
– Your knees should not go past your toes.
– Your back should not round out.
– You should not drop your shoulders forward. Your lower body should be the only part of you moving.
– Keep your eyes up on the wall ahead of you. This will keep your chest lifted.
Are air squats bad for your knees?
If you feel joint pain in your knees, you are either going too low or not using the correct form. In many instances, knee pain comes as a result of putting your weight more towards your toes instead of the back of your heels. You may also feel pain if your feet aren’t turned outwards at a slight angle.
If you experience back pain, this likely comes from inadvertently leaning your chest forward too much while doing squats, putting strain on your lower back.
How far down should you squat?
You should squat no lower than the point where your hip begins to tuck under and you lose the natural arch in your lower spine. When your spine flattens out with a heavy barbell across your shoulders, a large amount of hydraulic pressure is imposed on the discs in your spine. Over time, this can lead to tissue damage and back pain. Repeatedly sliding out of a neutral spine position isn’t a cast-iron guarantee you’re going to get injured, but every time it happens you increase your risk of serious injury and/or a hunchbacked dotage.
Other squat variations:
Overhead Barbell Squat
Figure Four Dancers Single Leg Squat