Hindu squats are an exercise that has been popular in India for centuries. It was used by wrestlers as part of their training.
Hindu squats are an excellent exercise to level up your squat routine.
To do this exercise:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Put your hands straight ahead of you. Ensure they align with your shoulders.
- Inhale then row your hands towards your chest.
- Once your hands are near your chest, squat and roll your arms down and extend them past your back towards your feet.
- When you reach the bottom of the squat, your hands should be near your feet.
- Swing them up to be parallel with your shoulder as you push up from the squat.
- Hold the position at the top then repeat.
Keep your heels off the ground as you do Hindu squats. Your knees should be out in front of your toes.
WHAT MUSCLES DO HINDU SQUATS WORK ON?
Hindu squats are a compound exercise that targets multiple muscles in your lower body. Primarily, it targets the glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.
Secondary muscles targeted are the shoulders and core.
This is where the largest muscle in the body is located. The gluteus maximus is the largest glute muscle.
It is the body’s main support system and the shock absorber.
The other two muscles are the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus. They are involved in the movement of the pelvis.
When you walk, squat, run, jump or turn, you activate your glutes.
2. HIP FLEXORS
These are a group of muscles found in the top of the thighs.
They are important for moving your lower body. They help move your thighs towards your torso.
The hip flexors include the psoas, iliocapsularis, and sartorius muscles.
The psoas muscles are the primary connector between the torso and the legs.
Hip flexors help with flexing the hip joint, externally rotating the hip joint, hip adduction and strengthening the core.
The quadriceps (or quads) are four large muscles that sit on the front side of the thighs.
They include the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius.
The rectus femoris is the only muscle in the quads to cross both the hip and knee joints. It helps with flexion of the hip joint and extension of the knee.
The vastus lateralis is the largest and most powerful muscle in the quads. It runs down the outside of the thigh and ends above the knee.
The vastus medialis runs down the inner thigh and ends next to the knee. It’s the most visible quad muscle and is known as the “teardrop muscle”. It plays a huge role in tracking the knee. If this muscle is weak, it is likely to lead to knee pain.
The vastus intermedius runs down the centre of the thigh. It limits the flexing of the knee.
These muscles work together to extend the knee.
Hamstrings are a group of three muscles found on the back of the thigh.
They are made of the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus. They run from below the pelvis to just below the knee.
The hamstrings help in extension and hyperextension of the knee, and knee flexion.
The calves are made of two muscles, the soleus and gastrocnemius.
The soleus is the larger muscle. It lies beneath the gastrocnemius.
It originates from the tibia to the ankle bone.
The soleus enables pointing your toes downward.
The calves absorb the impact from running, walking or jumping.
HINDU SQUATS BENEFITS
1. BUILD BODY STRENGTH
When you do the Hindu squats, you will feel the burn in your lower body especially.
However, by building your lower body muscles, you improve your overall strength.
As you lower and lift your body, your core, shoulders and back will also grow stronger.
2. IMPROVE JOINT HEALTH
Hindu squats help boost your leg muscle strength. This helps stabilize and protect your pelvis, hips, knees and ankles.
The squat routine helps the joints get increased support.
Due to the increased stability, you minimize the risk of injury when doing daily activities and other exercises.
Your stronger tendons and ligaments can better brace your joints.
3. IMPROVE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
This exercise is also brilliant for building endurance.
Endurance is your body’s capacity to sustain exercise for a long period of time.
Squats help boost speed and endurance for runners. You can achieve longer strides, more power on uphill runs or more speed for cycling.
4. IMPROVE POSTURE
Squats help you maintain good posture.
Good posture is having a neutral spine. When you have good posture, the muscles surrounding the spine are balanced and support the body equally.
This also helps reduce the risk of lower back pain.
ALTERNATIVES TO HINDU SQUATS
1. BACK SQUATS
To do this exercise:
- Set a barbell below your neck across your shoulders.
- Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width.
- Lower yourself such that your hips are below your knees.
- Pause briefly then push through your feet to push your body back to the starting position.
2. JUMP SQUATS
To do this exercise:
- Stand up straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down until your thighs are slightly higher than your knees.
- Push yourself up so your feet lift off the ground.
- Land with soft, bent knees, and settle back into the squat position.
HINDU SQUATS MISTAKES TO AVOID
Don’t push yourself lower than is comfortable. Hindu squats are effective when you have a healthy endpoint for your squat.
Pushing further than your endpoint increases the risk of injury.
Don’t stand with your feet too close to each other. This can mess with your stability and balance and can easily make you fall.
Avoid looking down when you’re doing squats. Keep your eyes forward. This helps keep your neck neutral. This also reduces the chances of your rounding your back or straining your neck.
Ensure that your core is engaged through the entire movement. These muscles are your internal weight that helps maintain your balance through the exercise.