What Are Bodyweight Squats?

With so many variations of squat to try out, there are so many ways to keep this kind of exercise new and interesting. Depending on the squat on do, you can target specific muscle groups, especially the ones in your lower body.

Bodyweight squats, also known as air squats, are a very popular type of exercise for both the average person and hard-going gym-goer. There are several benefits of this type to squat, with it targeting many of the muscles in your lower body.

Here is everything you need to know about bodyweight squats.

What Are Bodyweight Squats

What Are Bodyweight Squats?

CrossFit and other workout routines frequently include bodyweight squats. Normal squats may necessitate the use of additional weights, but these just employ your body weight to give your muscles a good workout. You should feel the burn in your thighs and glutes.

As they do not require any weights or additional equipment, the bodyweight squat is a workout you can do anywhere, not just the gym. This makes it the ideal exercise for people who do not have a lot of spare time to go to the gym or do not enjoy working out around people and would rather exercise at home.

What Muscles Does This Workout Target?

Bodyweight squats are a multi-joint, multi-purpose movement that can be done anywhere.

Squats with your bodyweight are compound because they work for multiple muscle groups at the same time, including your quadriceps, glutes hamstrings, calves, hips, and inner thighs, as well as your core.

When you learn how to properly execute bodyweight squats, everything becomes easier, from standing from a seated position to lifting objects off the floor.

How To Do Bodyweight Squats Properly

When doing air squats, as with any workout, you should always use the correct form to get the most out of them while avoiding injury. Stretching and warming up are required before you start. Even if you're only doing squats, this is vital.

Here's how to properly bodyweight squat:

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your toes turned slightly outward. Brace your abdominal muscles to activate the core.
  1. Inhale and begin by hunching your hips and bending your knees to squat until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor, your heels begin to lift off the floor, or your body begins to curve or flex forward. In the lowest position, the torso and shin bone should be parallel to each other.
  1. Exhale and force your mid-foot into the ground to straighten your legs and rise up, with your hips and body rising at the same time.
  1. The number of reps per set should be between 8 and 15. Three sets should be enough.

If you're having joint pain in your knees, you're either going too low or not using good form. Shifting your weight on your toes rather than the back of your heels is a common cause of knee pain. You may have soreness if your feet are not turned outwards at the right angle.

The most common cause of back pain is unintentionally pulling your chest forward too far during squats, putting tension on your lower back.

You probably won't want to do air squats every day. Instead, at least once a week, take a day off to enable your muscles to recover and expand.

What Are The Benefits Of Bodyweight Squats?

Bodyweight squats keep your body healthy and injury-free while also making it easier to get off the couch or out of your bed.

Because they work several essential muscle groups, bodyweight squats help you grow strength and muscle across your entire body, especially in your legs, back, and abs. 

The benefit of activating so many muscles is that you improve your metabolism, burning more calories. Doing them quickly will increase your heart rate and provide some cardio.

Bodyweight squats not only help you move better all day, but they also provide you with the best full-body training workout. They not only help you improve your balance and coordination, but they also help you gain mobility in your hips, ankles, and knees.

All of this is great news if you want to feel powerful and flexible in practically any situation.

Mistakes To Avoid When Doing Bodyweight Squats

Though bodyweight squats are very easy to do, there are a few common mistakes that people make that can make this workout less effective. Here are some things to avoid. 

  1. Raising your feet off the ground - If you don't keep your feet flat on the ground during the action, you'll lose your balance and body alignment. Pressing down through your heels when you stand up serves to stimulate your calves, hamstrings, and glutes even more.
  2. Not engaging your core muscles - You risk putting too much tension on your lower back if you don't activate your abs during bodyweight squats
  3. Allowing your knees to buckle - When your knees are out of line with your hips and ankles, you put extra strain on them, increasing your chance of injury. It also cuts down on the amount of work your butt muscles have to do, negating all of your hard work.

Modifications To The Bodyweight Squat

Though bodyweight squats are beneficial for people of all fitness levels, there are a few methods to alter or make them more challenging to gain the greatest benefit.

Suspension Squats

Squatting while holding the handlebars of a suspension trainer system like TRX may provide you with more control over your body weight. It's a great way to boost your confidence while also allowing you to securely practice the movement pattern.

Squatting On Box Or Chair

This is a terrific alternative if you have trouble squatting without feeling like you're about to fall backward. This will help you strengthen (and eventually increase) your range of motion. It also gives you the comfort that you won't fall over when you squat down.


Bodyweight squats may appear to be a beginner-only exercise, but if done correctly, they can help people of all fitness levels.

Bodyweight squats can be made more difficult without adding resistance by changing your posture or raising or decreasing your tempo speed, and with it targeting so many muscles groups, this is a great full-body workout.

Kevin Harris