December 1, 2012

The Amazing Hindu Pushup

There was a time when I was quite the exercise and fitness aficionado. I worked out a lot and had a rockin’ body. Unfortunately, I fell into a rather long period of apathy regarding my exercise and have recently decided to again embrace a more fitness oriented lifestyle. I plan to document some of the resurgence in my exercise, fitness and health journey on this blog.

One thing that emerged from my self-examination regarding what I wanted to do in this new life phase of exercise is to avoid lifting weights. Weight lifting can be a great way to exercise and my rejection of it for myself is by no means an indictment of lifting weights. I just know that, for me, and I believe many other people, lifting weights isn’t something that resonates with them as a more fun and convenient way to exercise.

So I have decided to embrace my original roots as a competitive gymnast, professional dancer, yoga practitioner and certified aerobics instructor and use bodyweight exercises as my primary weight resistance form of exercise. Bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere with no equipment, which makes them ideal for those who choose to not go to a gym or who travel often and need alternatives to a gym.

In this post I’d like to highlight one particular bodyweight exercise that many bodyweight exercise proponents consider one of the best, all-around exercises of its kind – the Hindu Pushup.

Right now, every other day, I do three sets of these Hindu Pushups to failure. By failure I mean that I do as many of them as I can during each set until I literally can’t do another one – muscle failure. It is this point of failure from which much of the real strength benefits occur.

I do each repetition of the exercise slowly and carefully. I have some ankle and shoulder problems that are easily worked around if I execute this exercise slowly, carefully and with good form. And doing an exercise slowly also forces you to truly utilize the full range of your muscle effort in all positions throughout an exercise.

The Hindu Pushup provides weight resistance challenge to much of your body including chest, triceps, shoulders, abdominals and quadriceps. This exercise offers great weight resistance training for much of your body through a single flowing exercise movement. I just love this exercise.

The videos in this post illustrate two variations of the Hindu Pushup. There are many. The first video is what’s often considered the more classic variation of the exercise. The second is another variation I use occasionally that I find challenges the shoulder and chest muscles a bit more.

If you’ve never done this exercise, give it a try and let me know what you think.

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