Heavy weights can get exhausting, but don’t give up on squats just because of that. Instead, give bodyweight squats a try. In part three of the “King of the Gym” series, I focus on bodyweight-only variations on barbell back squats. Sometimes you need a break from all the heavy barbell training. That’s when bodyweight squats become useful by keeping you strong and well-conditioned.
The Air Squat
To start off, you must master the classic bodyweight squat, also known as the air squat. Keep your feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward, and the weight centered over your feet. Go down as deep as possible. At the bottom, push through your heels and the balls of your feet to begin ascent. All the while, keep your chest up and push into the ground until you are back up straight again. One rep completed!
Air Squat Variations
All the variations below are for the air squat and can be used for different purposes. Some can be used for mobility, while others used to build strength. Add them to your training program as you see fit.
Pick at least one variation from this list and start practicing it within your fitness routines. Drill down the different techniques of these alternatives to help strengthen areas of weakness within your barbell squats and become more extremely efficient when you do get back to barbell squats again.
Next in the Series
In part 4 of the series, I focus on bodyweight again, but set up some conditioning routines you can do at home, outside in the park, or in a hotel when on the road. As I have reiterated in each of the previous installments of this series, regardless of your fitness goals, some form or fashion of squats can and should be added to your fitness routines.
This blog was written by Michael Blume, MS, SCCC; Athletic Performance Coach. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.