Many trainers recommend bodyweight exercises very highly, because they’re easy to do in any location and don’t require any weights or other exercise equipment whatsoever. Additionally, bodyweight exercises are less likely to cause injury or muscle stress than those that incorporate weights and other training devices.
The air squat is one of the most popular of all of the different bodyweight exercises. Squats help to build up your upper leg muscles, your glutes, your abdominals and your back muscles. They are beneficial in that you go through the motion of squatting dozens of times every day. Squats can help to reduce the risk of damage to your knee joints and keep you limber and flexible for many years to come.
Air Squat Basics
The air squat is the most basic form of squat. You can also incorporate held weights into this exercise in a number of different ways, but it’s certainly best and safest to perfect the standard air squat before you consider doing so. To execute this exercise, you’ll first need to stand with your feet parallel to one another. Shift your legs outward so that your feet are just wider than your shoulders, but not too wide. Stand straight up and keep your gaze forward. This is the standard and resting position for this exercise.
When you go to perform the squat itself, lower your buttocks and upper body in a straight line. The goal is to get your buttocks lower than your knees, while keeping the rest of your torso elevated and even leaning slightly forward. Gradually push yourself back up with your knees in order to execute one complete squat. Many people find that holding their arms loosely out in front of them is helpful. Others find that lifting their arms up above their heads as they lower themselves down into the squat will be the best way to maintain good form. Generally, it’s best to do between 10 and 20 squats per set of repetitions.
Safety and Injury Prevention
The best way to ensure that you remain free of injury and safe while you’re doing this exercise is to take it slowly. Be sure that you have the proper form and that your chest and abdomen do not collapse as you workout. You should always make use of your arms if you’re worried about maintaining good form. Additionally, continue to breathe regularly as you do squats.
There are a number of ways that you can modify the air squat in order to accomplish this exercise with a bit more of a challenge. Consider holding a barbell across your back as you work out. You can also hold a barbell or dumbbells out in front of you while you do the squat. Walking squats will help you to get into a better rhythm as you work out if you have a large, open space.