Hindu Squats for Better Yoga! In the modern age of Yoga and fitness, information is everywhere and at our fingertips. As a result, you can find a relatively infinite world of Yoga asanas from a wide range of classical and contemporary yoga styles and traditions.
Likewise, you will also find an exhaustive world of old and new fitness trends, with a cavalcade of exercise variations mixed with nutritional advice for all body types and a slew of health and wellbeing trends that come and go.
Within this ever-changing landscape of physical and spiritual health practices, it is easy for relevant, tried and tested exercises that consistently deliver optimal physical, mental and spiritual health to get forgotten in the annals of time.
Yoga has been practiced for around an estimated 5,000-years and was first developed in Northern India. One of the most famous and revered practitioners of this system of health was the Kushti Hindu warriors who practiced Yoga and ancient Hindu wrestling to maintain their fighting strength, power and focus their spiritual energy for battle and competition.
The Kushti wrestlers had a primary set of base exercises they used to keep fit for combat, which include:
- Swinging variations with the Gada or Mace
- Swinging variations with a Jori or club
- Indian dumbbell swings
- Dand also known as the Hindu push up
- Bethak often called the Hindu squat
Dand and Bethak are the most popular bodyweight exercises of the Kushti wrestling athletes and warriors of old.
Like classic western weightless squats, they rely on body weight and progressive repetition; however, the voluminous number of reps sets these exercises apart from their modern counterparts.
Today, however, this article will focus on Bethak, or the Hindu squat, an exercise that should not be forgotten or left out of your Yoga and fitness regime.
That is, of course, unless you want to miss out on gaining the Kushti warrior power of strong, explosive, flexible, virtually bulletproof legs! Got your attention?? Read on to learn more about using Hindu squats for better Yoga.
One of the best bodyweight exercises to strengthen and condition your legs for Yoga is Hindu squats. While all squats, weighted or otherwise, are some of the best leg exercises you can integrate into your strength building protocols, some elements set Hindu squats apart from their peers.
Unlike traditional weighted squats, which require progressive load-bearing to build big, aesthetically impressive leg muscles, Hindu squats are about progressively increasing reps to develop strong, functional, stable, unstoppable legs.
It is not uncommon for the dedicated and seasoned Hindu squat enthusiast to perform anywhere between 100 to 1000 Hindu squats a day, some performing hundreds in succession.
However, we do suggest starting slow. Although they don’t seem like much in the first ten to twenty reps, you will be feeling the burn sooner than later.
While traditional weighted squats are performed slowly, with control over no more than 20-reps (unless you are a cross-fitter), Hindu squats are executed fluently, without sacrificing balance, control and stability.
Hindu squats involve maxing out your muscles to fade while also giving your cardiovascular system a solid workout, helping to build your full-body performance, all while burning a significant amount of calories; wins all around.
Although Hindu squats are leg focused, like kettlebell swings and burpees, they do offer the benefits of a full-body workout, targeting a range of muscle groups, including:
- Core muscles
- Hip flexors
- Ankles and more
By running all these groups simultaneously over a progressive amount of reps, after only a few weeks of practice, you could see significant improvements in:
- Weight Loss
- Balance and more
Other athletes who can gain the many benefits of a Hindu squat regime include, but are not limited to:
- Cross fitters
- Basketball players
- Netball players
- Tennis enthusiasts
- Rock climbers
- Martial artists and more
100-Hindu squats in a row are the first significant milestone. Start with five rounds of 20, then four rounds of 25, then two rounds of 50. However, after you achieve the mighty hundred, the sky’s the limit.
Hindu Squats Protocol
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Extend your arms out in front at shoulder height.
- Controlling your core, inhale, and lower your weight like a traditional squat toward the floor.
- Unlike a standard squat, lift your heels as you descend, reaching your arms behind you in a circular motion, keeping balance and stability while attempting to brush your hands on the ground by your heels. Don’t stress if you can’t reach that far at first; just go as low as you can; never risk injury.
- After you reach your full descent, exhale, and lift your body back up to standing, powering through with the legs, lowering your heels to the floor, and raising your arms back in the starting position.
- Repeat, increasing your reps over time, striving to reach your goals without stopping.
Remember, Hindu squats are different to most classic and contemporary squat protocols. Even if you are a heavy-weight squatting pro, we suggest trying to get from ten to twenty reps, to begin with. Set progressive goals and smash them out of the ballpark.
Hindu squats are a pathway to less injury, more power, more flexibility, increased balance and unstoppable legs that never say die!
Have you ever tried doing Hindu squats? The team here at My Free Yoga gave them a try, and we can tell you, they are not for the weak-willed; the burn is real!