What is the Bodyweight Squat?
Squats (or Air Squats) are one of the most well-known bodyweight exercises and are a foundational calisthenics movement. Squats are frequently regarded as a baseline exercise.
Learning to perform the perfect Bodyweight Squat will net you strong legs and healthy joints. What makes the Squat a great exercise for beginners is that adjustments can be made to change the difficulty.
If you're starting out, you can adjust the depth of your Squat to suit what's most comfortable for your body.
For more advanced athletes, a Deep Squat opens you up to more challenging exercises like the Pistol Squat and the Shrimp Squat. Other ways to increase the Squat difficulty is by adding extra weight using a weighted vest, barbell, or a dumbbell.
Besides being a foundational bodyweight fitness exercise, the Squat is a great calorie burner and can aid with fat loss. As an exercise that works the posterior chain, you can expect to see improvements to your posture, your running speed, your metabolism, and a reduction to your risk of injury.
Bodyweight Squat demonstration
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How to perform the Bodyweight Squat
Begin the exercise with your feet shoulder-width apart and turned 10-45° outwards. The angle is dependant on what feels most comfortable for you.
Pull your belly in and keep your core engaged throughout. Stretch your arms outwards with palms open and your thumbs pointing to the ceiling. Doing so ensures that your spine is neutral and you're not hunching your shoulders.
As you're about to squat, make sure your weight is in your heels and not on your toes. You want to ground heels throughout the whole movement.
Start bending your knees to begin the squat, go as low as is comfortable for you, but aim to bring your hips below your knees. Make sure you're pulling your knees outwards so they're not collapsing inwards. Don't let your knees go too far over your toes.
To bring yourself back up to the starting position, push into your heels and try to pull your heels away from each other. This prevents your knees from collapsing and ensures great form throughout.