Hindu squats (called bethak or Uthak-bethak) is an Indian calisthenic body weight exercise used by Indian wrestlers for centuries to build incredible lower body strength, power, speed and endurance.
Barbell squats (and weight training exercises in general for the legs), have the potential to cause severe trauma and injury to knee joints and the lower back. Hindu squats, on the other hand, actually rehabiliate the knees and strengthen the muscles of the legs. Hindu squats, when done properly and combined with deep breathing, not only strengthen the entire body, but they rehabiliate the knees and ankles and build unbelievable lung power. For those who are used to barbell squats, you’ll find these squats to be a challenging, vigorous workout.
The important consideration here is working into them slowly. Never force progress in this, or any, exercise. No less an expert than Matt Furey has proclaimed that Hindu Squats “lay the foundation for strength and endurance.” This high repetition, rhythmic version of body weight squats develops the hips, thighs, calves, and lower back – and lung power.
What is a Hindu Squat?
The Hindu Squat is basically a deep, upright squat done on the toes with an assist from the arms; the arms come down and behind the body as you lower yourself, and then swing up as you rise. It feels wonderful once you get the groove and the rhythm.
How do you perform a Hindu Squat?
Hindu squats are performed by starting in a standing position, feet shoulder width apart, hands tight to chest. Begin by extending arms in front of you parallel to the ground. From this position, begin to descend into a squat position while simultaneously bringing your arms down in a sweeping motion continuing the motion by bringing the arms behind your back, brushing the buttocks as you sweep the arms forward to begin the upward motion of the squat.
The squat motion/ position here is different than a regular squat because you should be on your toes with knees pointing forward, not on your heels with your butt sticking out.
Some of the fine points for performing this exercise successfully:
- Begin with your hands pulled in tight to the chest.
- Bring your hands down and lower your body.
- Keep hands behind your back for balance.
- Come up on toes at the bottom. Keep your body upright and your arms down.
- Swing the arms forward and push off your toes.
As you rise, the arms continue up to chest level. When you’re upright, pull your hands in to the chest and begin again. Do as many nonstop repetitions as possible. In the beginning, depending on your condition,
Furey says, you’ll probably be able to do 25 to 50 – 100 reps is good – but it’s not a competition, and what you can safely handle is always the best advice. Don’t overdo this, or any exercise. You WILL improve with practice!!
I’m pretty sure that you will be amazed and gratified with the results of this exercise, after a very short period of time. Truly a full-body developer!!
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