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Heels-Elevated Air Squat

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

If you’re ready to mix up your squats, give the heels-elevated air squat a try. This is a movement that has all the benefits of a traditional air squat, but the elevation in the heels places more emphasis on the quads. Elevating the heels also allows you to go deeper on the squat.

To perform the heels-elevated squat, you will need something sturdy to elevate your heels. We recommend using a weight plate. You can use plates as small as the 5-pound metal change plate or a taller bumper plate. You just want to be sure that your toes can still reach the ground when your heels are elevated.

How to do the Heels-Elevated Squat

Place your heels on the elevated surface. Your feet should be in your standard squat position – between hip and shoulder-width apart with toes slightly turned out.

From here, follow all the points of performance for the air squat. Be sure to perform the movement with control. Because there’s an increased range of motion from the elevation, take a mental note of how much deeper you can go in this type of squat.

You should feel a little more stimulation in your quadriceps than your traditional air squat. Push through your foot and stand to full extension to complete the rep.

Heels-Elevated Squat Variations

As always, you can add tempo to this movement to make it spicier. An example would be 3-second descent, 3-second pause in the bottom, and 3-second ascent.

You could also add weight this movement by holding a dumbbell or kettlebell at your chest.

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Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® and MoveWell. In addition to free fitness resources on Impossible Fitness - you can buy performance apparel and supplements on