If there is an exercise that could help with movements the human body goes through day in and day out, it’s the squat. Whether lifting something heavy, standing up from a chair, or even simply walking, elements of the squat are apparent.
With the bending of the knees and often heavy lifting involved during a squat, it is thought by many to be an unsafe exercise, specifically for the knees. On the contrary, it has been found that the squat is, in fact, a deterrent for future injuries. Regardless, with the amount of lower body muscles that the squat targets (particularly those problem areas ladies), makes it an ideal exercise that should be included in your exercise repitoire. Most importantly, this exercise can be done without any weights at all and still be incredibly effective. Crossfit includes the air squat in many of its workouts and as part of its official warmup.
In order to perform the air squat, stand with your feet just past shoulder width apart. Keep your head above your knees and bend your knees, moving your butt down and out past your ankles. Your arm position isn’t incredibly relevant, but some people find it easier to move the arms up as you squat. However, you may find that holding your arms up, straight over your head, will give you better form when squatting. Once down begin to raise back to the standing position. You should try to get your butt down to just below your knees. If that’s too far just go as far down as you can.
Here’s a sample squat routine that will surely make you feel the burn:
Start off with 10 full deep air squats, then hold in a squatting position with your knees bent and your upper legs perpendicular to your lower legs. Hold this position for a count of 10. Then perform 9 full deep air squats and then again, hold the squatting position for 10 seconds. Repeat for 8 and so on, working your way down to 1, holding for 10 seconds between each set. No weights involved and it shouldn’t take much time at all, yet your legs will feel like jelly and you will certainly be completely out of breath. For these reasons, the squat is a great exercise.