When you get past 40 or so, fitness can get more complicated. But that should not stop you from getting into shape.
Squatting is something we have all done naturally since childhood. Once you start hitting the gym and working out, it is among the most crucial movements that must be mastered before you do other exercises.
But even though the squat is a simple and even basic move, lots of men I have trained have struggled with this exercise, especially as they reach 50+. Sometimes they use lazy habits and bad form, and others are afraid that the tear of accumulated injuries have made squats undoable for them.
One perfect alternative for these men is to do an air squat. Using your own weight can be very effective for creating a stronger lower body and improving your healthy movements.
To start, stand up tall, hips completely extended, with your feet just slightly wider than your shoulder width apart and turned outward.
Squeeze your abs and glutes as tight as you can and bring your shoulders back by bringing your shoulder blades together. Hold your head up and focus straight.
To start the move, ensure that your feet are firmly on the ground. Your first move is to begin your hip hinge by bringing your butt backward, then bend at your knees and slowly go down into your squat.
As you go down, you can raise your arms to keep your balance more easily. Ideally, you want to go down until your buttocks is right under level with your knees. Then push back up by using your glutes and quads to your starting spot.
There are some things to know about when working on your air squats. First, hold your feet solidly on the floor. Try not to raise your toes up. If you get the urge to do this, it might be due to some ankle immobility. Doing a stretch of your Achilles tendons and calves before squatting could help. Secondly, don’t allow your knees to go in. This might be due to some muscle weakness or bad positioning. Think of bringing your knees outward, or away from one another, throughout the whole movement. Third, hold your back straight and your torso straight. As you descend, your spine can tilt forward, but you must not allow your back to slump over. Squeezing your abs and glutes will help keep good posture.
Author: Blake Ambrose