Air squats appear to be a hit among fitness studios and HIIT classes, it’s also known as bodyweight squat, they are supposed to help make your legs and booty more toned.
But are their intended benefits too good to be true?
If you’re thinking of adding this exercise to your fitness routine, don’t do it until you’ve reached the end of this article.
What Are Air Squats?
Air Squats was considered one of the most excellent exercises you can do at home; it’s similar to a regular squat. However, Air squats rely on your own body weight, while regular squats may use additional weight instead.
You’ve probably heard of this exercise from people doing CrossFit and other similar workout routines. Primarily targeting the glutes and thighs not only helps to tighten up your booty muscles but’s also significant in strengthening the lower body.
While air squats are an effective exercise for toning your leg and butt muscles, they can be challenging for beginners’ weight training. To start, you’ll need to build a solid foundation for your workout. To build the foundation for your air squats, you should be able to do at least 10 squats.
Here are some things to remember while doing your air squats:
1. Keep your head and chest up and your knees aligned to the floor.
2. Don’t let your hips sag or your back arch.
3. Keep your back straight.
4. Don’t let your heels come off the floor the entire time.
5 Benefits Why You Need to Do Air Squats
Should you do air squats? Are they even worth the sweat?
Below is a quick list of benefits you can get from doing bodyweight squats.
1.Improves squatting form
Air squats offer the best way to improve your squatting technique. They can help you correct form issues before you start using weights.
A lot of people commit the following errors when doing squats:
- Rounding the lower back- The lower back’s natural curvature needs to be maintained throughout the exercise.
- Dropping shoulders forward- Shoulder blades need to be pulled together, pushing the chest area out.
- Not going low enough- You’d know if you’ve reached the right depth if your hips are lower than your knees.
With air squats, you’ll be able to train your body to do the proper squatting form. This includes contracting the shoulder blades together so that your chest part is pushed out.
2.Strengthens the lower body
Squats are a great way when it comes to building strength and power in your lower extremities. This is why they are often added to powerlifting and other weightlifting programs.
What’s so great about having more robust and more powerful legs?
Strengthening the area can help you jump higher and run faster. It can also boost your mobility while decreasing joint pain.
3.Improves core strength
When you do an air squat, you’re also targeting your core muscles. Training the muscles in the area improves balance and stability.
4.Helps burn calories
Doing air squats target several muscle groups at the same time. This triggers the body to produce more anabolic hormones. These hormones can help you get rid of fat and build muscles.
One particular study compared squats to leg press. Although both exercises target the same muscle groups, they trigger different responses.
Compared with leg press, squats produced a more hormonal and physiological response. They also engaged more muscles.
A 2013 study reviewed the benefits of doing bodyweight squats for 8 weeks. The result revealed a lower body fat percentage and higher lean body mass among the participants.
5.Reduces risk of injury
Air squats strengthen your bones, tendons, and ligaments around your leg muscles. By strengthening those areas, you’ll be able to reduce the load on your knees and ankles. This was reflected in a 2010 article published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
6. Make your butt sexier
When you want a more erogenous and bigger butt, air squat is probably the first thing that comes to mind.
It mainly stimulates the gluteus maximus, as well as the quadriceps during exercise; work your thighs and bum by strengthening your lower body to create a rounded, sexier bum.
7.Elevate your heart rate
Whether you’re in the gym or just walking around, one of the best ways to get the heart rate up is through air squats. Start with the barbell or dumbbell overhead press , then slowly lower your body and then stand back up.
One of the best benefits of air squats is that the glutes and abs are activated, which helps to build strong, sexy muscles. You’ll also benefit from increasing the intensity of the exercise, which means that you’ll be able to get more out of your workout.
How To Do a Proper Air Squat
Although the basic movements of air squat have been mentioned above, it is still necessary to explain in detail how to do it properly.
Air squats aren’t complicated; if you have a limited range of motion, this is appropriate.You won’t even need any equipment.
Now, before you do the air squat workout, it’s important to stretch. Once you’ve done that, you can do the following to ensure proper squat form:
1. For your starting position, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your toes pointing slightly outward. This doesn’t just help maintain proper form, but it also helps prevent knee pain.
2. Pull your shoulder blades together while pushing out your chest. It’s essential to keep your core muscles engaged.
3. Slowly squat back. Think as if you’re about to sit on a chair. While doing this, remember to focus your weight on your heels. Do not lean forward.
4. Maintain the curve of your lower back. Your heels should remain flat on the floor throughout the exercise.
5. Lower yourself until your hips are lower than your knees. As you master the move, you’ll be able to touch the back of your calves with your glutes.
6. Maintain the position for a few seconds. When rising, push through your heels and squeeze your glutes together. Use your gluteal muscles to get back to your standing position.
As you do the air squats, be mindful of your form. Make sure that your knees never go beyond your toes.
As you are doing the exercise, you should only move your lower body. Your body should remain still throughout.
Don’t let your back be rounded and never allow your shoulders to move forward. Keep your chest upright.
One way to know if you’re doing the proper squat form is to feel any pain. Ideally, you should feel it in your hips and thighs. In case you’re feeling discomfort in other areas, you’re probably doing the exercise the wrong way.
For example, if you feel pain in your lower back after doing a basic air squat, then you’re probably leaning your chest forward a lot. In case the pain is on your knees, it’s a sign that you’re not following the right form or you went too low when doing your squats.
Most Common Mistakes When Doing Air Squats
Doing the exercise with the right form is the key to activating the glutes properly without causing injuries. By avoiding the following mistakes, you can make squatting work for you.
1. Not going deep enough
Doing shallow squats can make the exercise ineffective since you won’t be activating your legs and glutes.
Try to keep your thighs parallel to the ground,with knee joints at about 90 degrees or a bit more. This can help ensure that all your target muscles are triggered and engaged.
2. Leaning forward
It’s quite tempting to lean forward when you’re sitting back in a squat. However, doing this isn’t good at all since you’ll just be putting unnecessary load on your spine and neck.
To avoid this mistake, puff out your chest. At the same time, keeping your shoulders in line can help, too.
3. Wrong feet placement
For tall people, it’s easy to feel tempted to move their feet towards their shoulder width. It makes them feel more comfortable when doing the exercise. Unfortunately, this affects your balance.
4. Letting the knees go too far
This is terrible news for your joints. It prevents the knees from going to where the toes end.
5. Lifting the heels
As you lower down, avoid lifting your legs. The movement puts added strain on your knees and joints.
To do an air squat correctly, you need to lower your weight into your heels and not the other way around.
6. Letting the eyes wander
Focus is essential to completing the exercise entirely. That includes locking your eyes straight ahead. Don’t let your eyes wander. Looking around prevents the spine from being locked into position.
7. Not progressing your squat workout
Air squat shouldn’t be the end of your routine. Once you’ve mastered it, try other variations.
You can do weighted squats if you have dumbbells lying around at home. You can also do the goblet squat or sandbag squats.
Recovery Tips After An Air Squat Workout
If you did an intense air squat workout routine, you’d probably feel sore the next day, particularly your legs.
One of the best ways to avoid that?
Don’t forget to do a post-workout stretch.
You see, when you work out your muscles, they tend to produce lactic acid. This is what causes your muscles to feel tired and sore.
Stretching helps get rid of lactic acid. At the same time, it relaxes the muscles.
Quad stretches are good after air squats. You can do it on your side or standing or kneeling. You can even stretch while you’re lying on your stomach. Do this for about 5 to 10 minutes after your routine.
You can use a towel to pull gently. A foam roller works like a charm as well.
Another thing you shouldn’t neglect is hydration. Make sure you’re well-hydrated before doing any workout. One study linked dehydration with muscle soreness.
Who Shouldn’t Do Air Squats?
Although air squats aren’t complicated, it’s not for everyone.
People who have difficulty sinking low enough to do a squat should never force themselves to do the exercise. The same applies to people who experience sciatica nerve pain.
If you have a similar health issue, make sure to check with your doctor first. Don’t do the exercise without getting a signal from your health provider first.
The Bottom Line
Air squats are considered practical exercises that target the glutes, legs, and core. However, just like other exercises, you need to do the exercise properly to experience its benefits.
Keep in mind that not everyone can do air squats. If you’re experiencing too much pain while working out, check your form and make sure you’re not committing any mistakes. If you can’t find the problem, don’t push yourself and seek professional help.