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How to Do the Air Squat (Exercise Guide)

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

Muscles Worked: Legs

Equipment Needed: None / Bodyweight

Difficulty: Beginner

The air squat is a common and effective lower body bodyweight exercise. This exercise guide explains how to do an air squat, its benefits and how to make it easier and harder.

How to Do the Air Squat

  • To begin, stand with your hands either on the back of your head or in front of you, make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and your feet are turned slightly outwards to help with flexibility, also try to open up your hip joint.

  • Then begin to lower your body by bending at the knees and the hips, go down until your upper legs are parallel with the floor, not too high and not too low.

  • Once you're at the bottom of the rep, pause for 1-3 seconds and then slowly return (1-3 seconds) back up to the starting position.

  • Repeat the air squat for your desired number of repetitions.

This exercise is also known as the bodyweight squat.

What Is an Air Squat?

The air squat, also known as bodyweight squat is a common, but effective exercise which works primarily the lower body, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings. The air squat is an excellent bodyweight and home exercise for strength, size and definition - it is another bodyweight exercise commonly used by athletes and can be added to your home training routine. You can also do other variations of the air squat such as the iso-hold bodyweight squat.

You can also add a weight vest to the air squat.

How to Make the Air Squat Harder

You can make the air squat harder in a couple ways.

The simple ways to make it harder is to:

  • Increase repetitions.

  • Increase time-under-tension.

Increasing the time under tension or the reps, or both, of this exercise can increase the resistance and make the air squat harder to perform.

The other ways to make the air squat harder is to:

  • Add resistance bands.

  • Wear a weight vest.

Adding resistance bands to this exercise, can add another variable and form of resistance into the exercise, making it harder. Increasing time-under-tension (how long the rep is performed for) also makes the air squat more effective; you can utilise this by going slower or holding for longer when pausing during the rep.

How to Make the Air Squat Easier

Making the air squat easier can be achieved in two ways.

You can make it easier by:

  • Holding for less time.

  • Doing fewer reps.

  • Decreasing the weight (if using weights).

Over time you can increase the number of repetitions, time under tension or increase the weight as your strength improves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What's the difference between a squat and an air squat? A: A squat is usually done with weights such as a barbell. An air squat is usually done with a just your bodyweight, there are other variations too.

Q: Are air squats bad for your knees? A: No, if you are using correct form air squats can actually be beneficial for your knees and joints. However, if you have a knee or joint issue you should get it checked and get cleared to do squats first.

Q: How many air squats should I do a day? A: There isn't a specific number of air squats you should do, however we recommend around 30-45 air squats per workout, split between 3-4 sets. You should aim to do a leg workout 1-2 times per week.


Written by Billy White

billy white

Billy White is a qualified Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer. He is an aspiring bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast, and health and fitness researcher.

He has multiple years of experience within the fitness, bodybuilding and health space. He is committed to providing the highest-quality information.


The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a physician or other competent professional before following advice or taking any supplement. See our terms and conditions.

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