Why Squatting Without Weights Is The Ultimate Leg Workout

Squats are among the best movements in every lower body workout.

Whether you do a lot of barbells, dumbbells, or just us your own bodyweight, the squat is effective at getting your quads, glutes and hamstrings all engaged at once. Bodyweight squats, also known as air squats, can be very useful.

They can be used to warm up and prime yourself for loaded moves, or pump out a lot of reps together as the focus-piece of your no-gear workout when you are outside of a normal gym environment.

The air squat seems simple at the start since there is no load being put onto your body—but there is more to getting this exercise right than just bending at your knees and going to the floor.

Here are the notes you should remember anytime you bring an air squat into your exercise. By establishing the correct squat form without a load, you won’t only help your bodyweight workout. You will also do other workouts better and more safely.

Keys to a Great Air Squat

Get Your Feet In Position

While everyone has a somewhat different squat position because of anatomical variations, a great way to begin your movement is putting your feet just wider than shoulder width, with your toes turned slightly outward. This should let you get a good depth without your knees going inward, a bad habit you should try to avoid.

Activate Your Core

Squeeze in your abs, then roll both shoulders back and keep them active to stand straight. This tension is important to keeping your squat good.

Butt Bend

Do not just bend at the knees to start your lowering. Instead, push your butt backward to start the movement. Once your rear is right, you can start bending at your knees.

Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t Knock The Knees

Keep squeezing your glutes to hold yourself in a solid knee-friendly position. This keeps your knees out and open, which is where you wish to be—especially once you start squatting with a load in other variations of this exercise.

Stay on Your Feet

Another bad mistake to avoid when doing air squats is elevating your heels, so that all your balance goes forward into your toes. This is due to a lack of Achilles flexibility. To help this issue, you can do a mobilization drill to aid you in keeping your feet down.

Author: Blake Ambrose

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