Versatile and requiring no exercise equipment, the Hindu squat is an effective exercise, whether you’re a beginner or regular fitness buff. Hindu squats are a dynamic exercise that build muscle in your lower body — thighs, calves and butt — as well as working out your arms. While squats are great for building muscle tone in your body, unless you do the squats rapidly and for a long period of time, you won’t burn as many calories as cardio exercises will burn.
Burning Calories With the Hindu Squat
The number of calories burned performing Hindu squats is affected by several variables. How many squats you do, for how long, how quickly, and your weight will affect how many calories you burn. “What’s Cooking America” states that you burn 0.096 calories per minute while doing squats. Slower or faster than the average speed means you may burn more or less. To find your number of calories burned, multiply 0.096 with your full bodyweight in pounds, plus any additional weight you use. Multiply this by the number of minutes you did squats for, to find the total number of calories burned. One pound of body weight is equal to 3,500 calories. In order to lose one pound, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in.
Just the Basics -- How To Squat
Stand with your feet firmly planted on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height, keeping them parallel to the ground. Tuck in your pelvis so your lower back is kept straight; tighten your core muscles to provide support throughout the exercise. Quickly bend your knees, dropping all the way down to the ground, while lowering your arms at the same time, moving them to be alongside your body and slightly to the back. Keep your back straight and your head up for the entire move. Your heels will rise slightly to accommodate the depth of the squat. Just as quickly, rise back up to starting position by straightening both knees at the same time, while rotating your arms to the back before returning to their starting position. Your arms will make a full circle along the side of your body. Repeat the full movement 10 times before resting for five seconds and repeating the set.
Faster and Greater -- Squats as Cardio
Because of the speed in which their done and the number of muscles used, Hindu squats can be a good cardio boost — for a warm-up or as cardio itself — if they are done properly. Hindu squats as cardio exercise requires a high number of repetitions. "Shape Magazine" recommends at least 50 fast-paced reps for a cardio boost. Practice one or two squats slowly at first until you are sure you have correct form, before increasing the speed. This will help you develop proper form while doing the exercise, reducing the risk of injury.
Upping the Challenge -- Use Weights
If you want to increase the difficulty level, use dumbbells to make the exercise more challenging, especially for your arms. Start with lighter weight dumbbells, as swinging your arms with heavy weights can easily throw you off balance. For safety, you might consider using wrist weights — weights that wrap around your wrists — instead of dumbbells. Adding weights to your Hindu squat workout will increase the speed with which you build muscle.
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