Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Squat Like a Hindu

    Hindu Squatting
    When I was younger, I would inadvertently get into trouble for a many number of things, teasing my younger cousin, not coming home when my mom would call for me (picture an Indian aunty in suburban central Pennsylvania standing outside the front door of her house, screaming for me (in my embarrassing nickname) to come home like she was still in Ahmedabad), or for jacking that extra blow-pop. Like all kids, I knew I would get in trouble, but I did it anyway because it was fun. What wasn't fun was the punishment. We called them "Ootbes", which translates into stand (oot) sit (bes) and as an added incentive, we had to hold our ears while we did it, thereby looking like a robotic monkeys, doing weird squats. Thanks to tipster, Nalina, I learned that I was not alone in having to do these. While some in the West have found yoga to be great excercise, others have discovered the Ootbes or Bethak, and renamed it the "Hindu squat." It seems "Politically Incorrect Fitness & Fighting" instructor Matt Furey is using the Hindu Squat, and even the Hindu push-up (also known as downward facing dog in yoga circles) as conditioning exercises for weight loss and as a technique for building muscle. From Furey's website..
    Hindu squats (bethaks) are an exercise, like Hindu pushups (dands), that have been used by Indian wrestlers for centuries to build explosive lower body strength, power, speed and endurance. Can you get stronger doing this so-called "free hand" leg exercise while also staying away from barbell and dumbbell squats? Absolutely. Can you develop greater muscle mass with this bodyweight exercise? Again, absolutely. The Great Gama of India was 5'7" and 260 pounds of streaming steal, with thighs so heavily muscled they resemble the proverbial "tree stumps." Legend has it that Gama of India, who never lost once in 5000 matches, did 4,000 bethaks or Hindu squats each day. These numbers are grossly inflated - but the fact of the matter is that Gama did do this exercise daily and he was unstoppable.
    Google search results for Hindu Squat, Google search results for Hindu Pushup


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