If you’re after a next-level derriere that can literally pull its own weight, check out the Air squat.
Air squats, also referred to as bodyweight squats, are a compound exercise that utilizes bodyweight resistance to tone your hams, glutes, abs, and calves. And trust us, you’ll feel the burn.
Popular in training programs such as Crossfit and other bodyweight resistance workouts, the air squat is a highly effective way to gain lean muscle as you shape and strengthen your entire posterior chain.
What we call the squat today was referred to as the “deep knee bend” around the turn of the 20th century. Performed on the balls of the feet while holding the heels together, lifters went light on their weight loads and performed many repetitions.
At the time, squat racks had yet to be invented, so there was no safe and reliable way to load up the back to the max.
During the dawn of World War I., the squat began to spread across Europe as a competitive lift. 1919 marks the first known squatting competition held in Germany when Carl Moerke won by squatting nearly 530 pounds.
When German-born strongman Henry Steinborn immigrated to the US in 1921, he introduced the squat to the masses via Strength magazine.
As a result of his highly publicized and widely read article, commercialized squat racks began appearing in weight training gyms across the US in the 20s and 30s with growing frequency.
How to Perform an Air Squat
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing slightly outward.
Step 2: Thrust your chest outward as you inhale as you tighten your core, shifting your weight onto your heels and shoving your hips behind you to squat down.
Step 3: Lower your body so your thighs are parallel with the floor, keeping your feet flat on the floor and knees over your toes.
Step 4: Exhale as you exert maximum force, driving through your heels and engaging your glutes to return to standing.
Step 5: Repeat until the desired number of reps has been achieved.
- Teaches proper squat form
- Increases power and strength throughout the posterior chain
- Improves balance and coordination
- Increases functional fitness
- Engages your core
- Increases flexibility and agility
- Improves athletic performance
- Enhances explosive firing power through the hip and legs.
- Builds lean muscle mass
After you’ve mastered the air squat, here are some more challenging squat varieties to try:
- Barbell squat. This squat rack weighted squat stabilizes your hips, knees, and upper and lower back
- Sumo squat. Focused on strengthening the inner thighs, the sumo squat utilizes a sumo hand position.
- Jump Squat. Mix some cardio into your squat game to get your heart rate pumping.
- Dumbell Squat. Add weight without the need for a squat rack, the dumbell squat can be easily performed at home.
Air Squat Your Way to a Head-Turning Booty
Adding squats to your fitness routine will tone and shape your thighs, hips, and butt, achieving noticeable results in as little as one month.
If you want to take backside to next level fitness without bulking up from the added weight, the air squat is for you.