Air Squats are the foundation exercise for a great many other movements, especially when it comes to performing compound movements such as cleans and snatches. Needless to say, Air squats are one of the most important exercises to master when it comes to sport conditioning.
Start by being as upright as possible with feet shoulder-width apart.
Keep the weight on your heels as you go back by moving your butt or hips back first. Try to keep shins and back (torso) as vertical as possible.
Place hands out in front as you descend for counterbalance and press through heels to prevent knees from coming in.
As you rise, bring hands back to your side.
Ideally, you should be able to get your hip crease lower than the top of your knee.
If you cannot reach this depth, there may be a reason preventing this, such as:
- An injury (recovering ACL, PCL, MCL, meniscus, etc)
- Tight muscles (Hip flexors, angle flexors and extensors, hamstrings, lower back)
- Your structural anatomy
Tips for improving and correcting form:
If you have an excess lean forward, you may want to use a counterbalance such as holding a kettlebell to help to keep the core engaged and stay as upright as possible.
You can also use your hands to creep down and up a vertical pole to help maintain a vertical back position while keeping feet flat on the floor and shins vertical.
More tips courtesy of Dean Bodle:
Remember to seek the advice of your fitness trainer, medical and/or allied health professionals, if you are new to exercise or have an injury or medical condition to consider.
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