Ready set…do an air squat! If you did one, good for you how did it feel?! If not, it’s ok. Either way, let’s be real, air squats don’t really get much love now a days. Usually when they’re in a workout, it’s one of those movements where people coast through (knees caving in, low back rounding at the bottom, on your toes, sound familiar?) not giving much attention to because it’s “easy”. In warm ups, it’s just another movement some people rush through in order to get to the “fun” workout of the day. So let’s take a quick step back!
Remember, just like when you first started doing CrossFit, that air squats are one of our foundational movements that translates to a majority of movements we perform day in and day out. If you are one of those people who struggle with the basic air squat, you can kiss squatting heavy, wall balls, snatching, or any other squat movement goodbye. Sure with consistency you’ll improve, but you’ll be missing out on reaching your real potential and increase your risk of injury. Back in March I suffered a pretty significant hip injury that kept me from doing what I loved for 3 months are so, but that experience forced me to take a step back and reevaluate my squat. For one, air squats are a great indicator of pointing out some mobility deficiencies since the movement requires a proper amount of ankle/hip mobility and torso control. Struggle to get the proper depth? Check out your ankle or hip mobility. Struggle to keep your lumbar active at the bottom of the squat? There might be a deficiency in lumbar strength or hamstring flexbility. I encountered ALL of these when I was recovering and trying to rebuild my air squat. Honestly, I wish I had taken the time to really dial it in so I could’ve avoided that whole mess. Anyway, take your time with them! While you warm up, take care in performing them correctly and making sure everything is in check. In workouts, try and be more mindful! Taking an extra half second to make sure your back on those heels, chest is staying up, knees are staying out, is only going to help you in the long run. For real. All in all, I’m just trying to give air squats some love again. Personally, taking a step back has helped me make significant improvements after my injury and I just wanted to take a few minutes to help you all avoid what I had to go through!