What are Air Squats?
Air squats are a type of exercise where the body is suspended from a bar or other support with one leg extended outwards. The purpose of the exercise is to develop strength and flexibility in the legs and core muscles. It also helps improve balance and coordination.
The term “air” refers to the fact that your feet do not touch the ground during this movement, but rather float above it.
In contrast to air squats, which involve the use of a bar or other support, the term “squat jumping” refers to a variation in which the person jumps off a low step or similar surface while holding onto something behind them. This allows for greater range of motion and control over landing. In addition, squat jumping exercises require less equipment than those involving a bar. These advantages make it popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.
Benefits of Air Squats
Strengthens the Quadriceps Muscles: The quadriceps muscle group consists of three major muscles: the vastus medialis oblique (VMO), vastus lateralis (VL) and rectus femoris (RF). All three muscles are involved in the squatting motion. Strengthening these muscles will allow you to perform a wider variety of movements such as lunges, step ups, dips and many others.
Strengthens the Hamstring Muscles: In addition to strengthening the quadriceps, air squats also strengthen the hamstring muscles. The hamstrings run along the back of your upper leg and are responsible for bending your knee and pulling it back.
Strengthens Lower Back: Air squats also strengthen the lower back muscles. These muscles help keep your torso erect and also help support your spine. As we age, these muscles tend to weaken. Strengthening these muscles will help improve posture and reduce back pain.
Strengthens the Core: The core consists of all of the muscles in your torso. When these muscles are strengthened they help protect the spine from injury and keep the torso rigid during movements such as running, jumping and lifting.
Improves Posture: Improving your posture is another benefit of doing air squats on a regular basis. The act of squatting helps keep your hips level and your lower back from rounding. In addition, proper technique during air squats requires you to keep your head up and your chest out.
Flexibility: Squatting all the way down in air squats will also improve flexibility in your hips and thighs.
Muscle Tone: As with any exercise that involves a lot of stretching and contraction of muscles, regular squatting will also lead to improved muscle tone.
Toning: As with building muscle, toning involves the breakdown of fat and strengthening of muscles. While there is a certain amount of muscular growth that occurs with squatting, the bigger benefit is that it reduces the circumference of your thighs and other areas that are being targeted.
How to Air Squat Properly
When you squat down, you should always maintain a flat back. Arching your back can cause injury and is an indicator that you are using too much weight.
Bend your knees until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. The lower you can go, the more effective the squat will be.
Keep your head up and your back straight as you squat down.
Keep your knees in line with your feet as you squat down.
Extend your legs to return to a standing position.
Repeat this process for the desired number of reps or length of time.
Tips and Precautions
It is important to use good technique when doing squats. If you are unsure of how to perform a proper squat, ask a trainer at your local gym or look online for assistance.
Although it is not common, some people experience discomfort or pain when doing squats. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should speak to a doctor before continuing to do them.
In addition to asking a trainer for assistance, there are many resources online that can help you learn how to perform air squats properly.
If you do them correctly, air squats should not be uncomfortable. If they are, you probably need to lighten your load.
It is very important that you keep your back straight when doing squats. Although it is counterintuitive, bending your knees and leaning forward actually puts a great deal of pressure on your lower back. Over time, this kind of motion can lead to long-term back pain.
Squatting properly is the best way to strengthen your legs and also has a number of other health benefits.
When done correctly, squats can help improve flexibility in your hips and thighs and also strengthen your core. The more you practice squatting, the easier the motion gets and the more you will gain from this simple but important exercise.
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Muscular fatigue in response to different modalities of CrossFit sessions by JL Maté-Muñoz, JH Lougedo, M Barba… – PloS one, 2017 – journals.plos.org
Metabolic and cardiovascular response to the crossfit workout “Cindy”: a pilot study by B Kliszczewicz, RL Snarr, M Esco – J Sport Human Perf, 2014 – researchgate.net