Hindu squats are one of the most peculiar exercises in modern fitness. They boast an incredibly rich history, stemming from ancient Hindu yoga practices.
Unfortunately, the Hindu squats are still relatively unknown to the West. They are similar to the elementary bodyweight squats in many ways, with a little twist.
With advanced breathing techniques, they can bring benefits to both your mental and physical health.
In this article, we’ll take a look at everything about Hindu squats. We’ll learn the benefits of the exercise, and how to perform it.
We’ll also explain the proper technique and the muscles that we work with these squats.
Let’s get started!
What Are Hindu Squats?
Everyone can do Hindu squats – from fitness beginners to the more advanced gym buffs. That’s mainly thanks to the simplicity of the exercise, as it requires only your bodyweight. And proper technique, of course.
Hindu squats are similar to regular bodyweight squats. At least in the sense of which muscles they work – quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, to an extent.
The main difference is in the movement of your arms and your upper body. With Hindu squats, you swing your arms forwards when you go down into the squat.
In many ways, it’s similar to when we thrust ourselves when we’re about to jump.
And the best thing about these squats is that we can easily overload them with a weight vest. Dumbbells are out of the question for this exercise, as is a weight bar.
For centuries, Hindu squats have been one of the primary leg exercises for Indian wrestlers.
Today, we mostly perform them as finishers. Sometimes they are a great exercise for warming up your body and get the blood flowing.
Let’s get into more detail of how to perform Hindu squats.
How To Do Hindu Squats?
Performing the Hindu squats is fairly easy. Here are the steps that you need to take to perform a Hindu squat.
- Start in a standing position, just like you would with regular squats. Extend your arms out in front of your body, and keep them straight.
- Next, as you move into the squat, bend your knees. Take a deep breath in. At the same time, swing your arms backwards as if you were about to jump. The squat should be performed on the tips of your toes.
- To come out of the squat, swing your arms forward until they reach the starting position. Straighten yourself and straighten your legs. Push through your toes to drive your body upwards again.
- Repeat until you fatigue.
This exercise serves as an aerobic exercise for wrestlers. And if you try it out yourself, you’ll soon see its benefits!
Most people argue that Hindu squats are easier to perform in comparison to regular squats. They argue that you get more thrust with this movement.
So the consequence that you should be able to do more of these squats at once. But upon trial and error, you’ll discover that this exercise can actually be quite challenging.
After a few introductory reps, you’ll soon notice just how effective it can be. Keeping the proper form is the key to experience all the benefits of these squats.
Benefits Of Hindu Squats
You might be wondering how the Hindu squats can be better than standard squats?
Well there are several ways where Hindu squats bring you exceptional benefits compared to regular squats.
Here are some of the best benefits of Hindu squats.
Improve Flexibility and Balance
Squatting on your toes requires a good level of balance. And that’s why Hindu squats might feel a bit out of place for beginners. When you first perform your Hindu squat, you might struggle to keep balance.
However, this is one of the primary reasons why Hindu squats are superior to regular squats. Hindu wrestlers used these squats as they helped them achieve a better level of balance.
In addition, they will also give you a better level of flexibility. Regular squats are relatively rigid compared to Hindu squats.
The additional arm movement and the bend in your knees forces your body to adopt a more flexible outlook.
Better Calf Activation
As a result of how this exercise is performed, you’ll experience a better calf activation.
As you balance yourself on your tiptoes, the calves work extra to keep you going. This offers a better calf activation. You’ll improve your jumping power with Hindu squats.
Calves give you some extra push, and as a result, you’ll be able to jump higher and exert more power when you’re sprinting.
Perhaps you can incorporate this exercise with more intense cardio workouts, such as sprints.
Or, you can perform a couple of these squats on your leg day. The great thing about this exercise is that it’s a compound movement, as it works multiple muscles.
Not only does it activate your calves, but also your quads and glutes. So if you’re looking for a type of squats that work your calves more, this is it.
Improved Cardiovascular Performance
Indian wrestlers used Hindu squats as both an aerobic exercise as well as a boost to their leg strength. So you can see how this exercise can help you boost your cardiovascular performance.
It’s slightly more athletic and that way, more challenging. It gets your heart pumping, and it improves your conditioning at the same time.
We can say that this movement is slightly more aerobic than regular squats.
When you do a higher quantity of reps, you’ll notice the increase in your heart rate. As a result, you’ll reap the benefits that this exercise has to offer in terms of conditioning.
It’s the swinging movement that’s slightly more aerobic than regular squats, which is more static.
Can be Done Anywhere, Anytime
Now the same can be said for regular squats. But if you’re short on time, and you can’t go to the gym, then it’s time to bust out a few Hindu squats.
You can easily do a combination of regular squats, jump squats, and Hindu squats, for example.
You won’t need any equipment – all you need is your body, and the willingness to do them.
What Muscles Do Hindu Squats Work?
Hindu squats are a compound movement that work more muscles at the same time. Namely, they focus on your leg muscles.
Primarily, the Hindu squats work your quadriceps muscles. At the same time, you’ll also experience a good activation of your calf muscles.
Hindu squats also develop your hamstrings, although they are worked as a secondary muscle.
Some also argue that Hindu squats work your glutes, which is actually true. But as you lean forwards with your knees, you’re more likely to work on your quads and calves primarily.
Standard squats might be better if you’re looking for glue activation, though.
Are Hindu Squats Bad For Your Knees?
The truth is that Hindu squats put slightly more stress on your knees than other squats.
So if you’re struggling with knee injuries or aggravation, it’s better to strengthen your knees first before you do these squats.
The additional stress on your knees comes from an additional bend in knees. As you perform these squats on your toes, you’ll have to dive deeper when you go down.
As a result, your knees will have to be in an uncomfortable position.
However, there is a way that you can adjust the exercise to be more “knee-friendly”.
Firstly, go slower with the movement to prevent knee pain. Use a knee brace to support your knee better.
Also, don’t dive as deep as you normally would if you experience knee pain.
Tips For Hindu Squats
Here are some useful tips to guide you on your way with Hindu squats.
o If you can do more than 20 Hindu squats at once, add a weight vest. Alternatively, you can add kettlebells in your hands to add more weight. But note that this can be slightly uncomfortable. This is done by holding kettlebells above your head while performing Hindu squats.
o Those who suffer from shoulder aggravation could also struggle with this movement. Due to the swing, if you can’t do a full range of motion with your shoulders, you should limit arm swing when moving.
o A problem also comes if you’re suffering from lower back pain. Adjust the movement so that you don’t go as deep as you normally would.
So, there you have it, everything you need to know about Hindu Squats. This type of squat can be a great aerobic alternative to standard squats.
It’s an ancient exercise that puts more emphasis on your quads and calves.
It boosts your cardiovascular performance and your jump strength. At the same time, it brings several benefits as improve your flexibility and balance.
Hopefully, you’ll now be able to incorporate Hindu squats into your leg workout routine.