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What are Hindu Squats?

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  • Written By: Sara Schmidt
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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There are many different types of squats available as exercise. One kind of squat that is often used to build muscle power and endurance is the Hindu squat. Hindu squats are a simple, safe, yet challenging way to develop body strength. A doctor should be consulted prior to engaging in the Hindu squat or any other exercise program. Pregnant women should never do any kind of squat.

Also known as bethaks, or deep knee bends in India, Hindu squats have been used for centuries to build leg strength. They rely on the body's own power instead of added weights. As the heels are raised, body weight is placed on the toes as the knees bend deeply past the toes. Hindu squats should never be forced, but performed slowly and fluidly instead.

To do a Hindu squat, begin with hands pulled into the chest. Feet should be shoulder width apart with toes pointing forward. Keeping the back straight, slowly squat down, lowering the arms down and behind to maintain balance. On the way down, exhale.

Bring the body up onto the toes, keeping the back straight. Swing arms forward, pushing the body back up off the toes. Keep rising, inhaling, until falling back into standing position, with the arms moving until they reach back to chest level. After completing the squat, pull the arms back into the chest to begin the next squat.

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When beginning a squat routine, 20 to 40 squats in one session is considered ideal. Gradual progress is recommended to prevent injury and pain. Once the exercise is more familiar, up to 500 squats may be done by strong athletes in a 15-minute period. These squats are considered a safe daily workout if done properly. In order to acquire the proper method and breathing techniques for this workout, a personal trainer or coach may be consulted.

This method is particularly beneficial for athletes with knee conditions. Many squats cause knee and joint pain, trauma or injury. Hindu squats instead help rehabilitate the knees, providing a safer squat workout. A slow set of Hindu squats can help strengthen the leg muscles without adding injury to the body.

Hindu squats provide a number of benefits to the body. Aside from building muscle, Hindu squats help strengthen legs and endurance. Hip flexibility and mobility are also enhanced through the workout, as well as tendon strength, knee power, lung power, and cardiovascular capacity overall. Hindu squats also help burn body fat. Some people use the movement for increased spiritual awareness as well.

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