Last Updated on
One of the unusual varieties of push-ups is the Hindu push ups or also called Indian press. This exercise is not easy, but it is very effective for developing the muscles of the chest, shoulder girdle, and also to strengthen the legs and back, improve blood circulation and increase flexibility throughout the body.
This type of push-ups is quite popular in the countries of the East and has been used there for thousands of years, specifically in therapeutic gymnastics.
Also known as Dand or Namaskar in India, this exercise goes back thousands of years and is used by warriors to shape and strengthen their bodies. Hindu push-ups were also used by traditional Indian wrestlers and Indian martial arts. Even the famous martial artist Bruce Lee is a fan of exercising Hindu push-ups.
Hindu push-ups then became very popular first in the 60s, and now it is making its comeback in the fitness industry. This type of push-up can be considered a basic exercise, though it is not easy enough to perform, it is great for people with little physical training. It is perfect for both beginners and people with training experience.
Features of Hindu Push-ups:
- Difficulty: Average
- Variety: Fitness
- Type of exercise: Basic
- Movement Type: Pushing
- Muscle Group Worked: Chest
Regular push-ups vs. Hindu push-ups
For those who are not familiar yet with Hindu push-ups, you might think that it is something better to do than regular push-ups. The thing is, none is better than the other since both have their own benefit in muscle building.
Both exercises have different movements and target muscle work-out. The regular push-up mainly focused on building up the chest pectoral muscle unlike the Hindu push-ups which also develop not just the chest pectoral muscle but also the muscles in shoulders, arms, abdomen, and spine.
If you want to improve your flexibility and improve your muscles in the upper body, then Hindu push-ups are more advisable to practice. But if you only want to develop the muscles on your chest, then performing regular push-ups are fine.
Who needs to perform the exercise and why is it important?
Hindu push-ups are considered a basic exercise, which means beginners are able to try it. Its main advantage is the involvement of the dorsal muscles and the increase of the load on the muscles of the press in comparison with ordinary push-ups. This exercise will be a good option for training at home or on trips when it is not possible to get access to sports equipment.
Benefits of performing Hindu push-ups
Hindu push-ups came from eastern medicine and represent a conditioning exercise. However, their mechanics can be equated to basic movements with great stretch. From the point of view of the benefits for the athlete, this complex helps to:
- significantly increase the production of testosterone in the body;
- neutralize the basic catabolic processes;
- strengthen the ligaments, due to a very specific load;
- replace the basic complexes in the absence of sports equipment.
Well, the most important advantage of Hindu push-ups is their high efficiency. Due to the non-standard angle of the building of pectoral muscles, it is possible to shock them and overcome the power plateau, which is important for athletes having trouble with further sports performance growth. Another important feature of this eastern exercise is the extensive involvement of the spinal muscles in the work. This is especially useful for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle and do not aspire to visit the gym, but want to prevent osteochondrosis, osteoporosis and other vertebral diseases.
Why Indian push-ups are useful
This exercise, unlike other types of push-ups, actively includes in the work the muscles responsible for changing the position of the spine – core muscles (extensors of the spine and press), allowing you to increase not only their strength but also flexibility. In addition, due to such a change in body position during repetition, Indian push-ups have a good effect on the vascular system, due to the dynamic change in pressure in it.
Contraindications and harm
Unlike the axial loads that occur during the exercises on the bottom and upper back, Hindu push-ups differ in that they help to recover from injuries. And most importantly, this exercise does not have specific contraindications, except:
- Presence of severe muscular dystrophy;
- Presence of the prolapsed hernia;
- Spine curvature disorders such as kyphosis;
- Diseases associated with the gastrointestinal tract;
- Postoperative periods when working with the muscles of the abdominal cavity;
The only harm that these push-ups can cause is to increase the pressure. And then, this is possible only if you seriously violate breathing techniques during the exercise.
What muscles are working out?
During the performance of Hindu push-ups, significantly more different muscle groups are involved in comparison with the classical ones. However, the load on them is distributed more evenly, which somewhat reduces the effectiveness of this exercise as a basic one.
Exercise develops and strengthens the muscles of the shoulder girdle, chest, and arms. It also develops strength, endurance, and also improves coordination. When you exercise, it allows you to learn to control your muscles, develop spinal flexibility, improve posture and develop joints, ligaments, and tendons.
The constant change of position of the body, during the exercise, perfectly accelerates blood and stimulates the circulatory and cardiovascular system, eliminating the stagnation of blood in the small pelvis, which is very useful for men’s health.
You can perform this exercise in the morning to develop flexibility, improve blood circulation, and generally strengthen the body. This exercise can also be included in your regular training plan. Hindu push-ups will help diversify and improve the effectiveness of home workouts.
|Muscle group||Load type||Accent|
|Pectoral bundles||Additional active||Small|
|Three-headed flexor||Main active||Significant|
|Lumbar muscles||Additional active||Small|
|Core muscles||Additional active||Small|
|Abdominal muscles||Main active||Significant|
|Front deltoids||Main active||Significant|
|Upper deltoids||Main active||Significant|
|Rear deltoids||Additional active||Absent|
|Muscles of forearm||Main active||Significant|
Features and performance technique of Hindu push-ups
The main feature of Hindu push-ups is the very specific technique of doing the exercise. For many athletes, it will seem highly distorted and incorrect. But let’s consider it in more detail.
First of all, to prevent injury, you should stretch before doing this exercise. Stretching will loosen your muscles and enable you to do this exercise more fluidly.
- Start stretching by standing up, with your feet spread shoulder length apart. Then, bend to touch your toes on each foot, and hold for 10 seconds.
- Alternatively, you can stretch sitting down. Sit on the floor with your legs spread, similar to a V position. Reach for your toes on the left foot, right foot, and then reach as far as you can in the middle, and hold for 10 seconds.
Then, start performing the exercise:
- Get into a starting Hindu push-up position. To start the Hindu push-up, get into a normal, starting push-up position. With your knees bent and touching the ground, place your hands on the ground directly under your shoulders (your arms should be straight). Then, slowly remove your knees from the floor and dig your toes into the ground to stabilize the lower half of your body. You should be in a high plank position.
For beginners, place your hands and feet a little farther than shoulder-width apart.
More advanced trainees can keep their hands and feet closer together for a more intense workout.
Once you are in the starting push-up position, begin to raise your backside up into the air. As you raise your backside into the air, keep your arms, legs, and back straight. At this point, your eyes should be looking at your feet. In this position, you will look like an upside down V.
This V position is essentially the starting position, and you will return to this position after you complete each push-up.
Before you begin the next movements of the push-up, remember to breathe in through your nose.
- Bend your elbows and lower your chest. While breathing in, begin to bend your elbows outward and lower your chest to the ground. Your backside should be more level to the ground, but still pointing slightly upward at this point. You will feel as if you are in a flexed push-up position with your backside slightly pointed upward.
- Arch your lower and upper back. As your chest gets lower to the ground, in a scooping motion, scoop your head upward while arching your lower and upper back. Exhale through your mouth as you do this motion. At this point, you are essentially at the “bottom” of the push-up.
- Straighten your arms and look up. After scooping your head in a round, upward motion and arching your back, straighten your arms, lift your torso, and look upwards. Your hips should be down towards the floor, but not touching the floor.
- Return to the third position. This is an intermediate step, you need to lower your torso, but don’t arch your lower and upper back.
- Return to the starting position. Simply lift your hips to return to the V position; use your abs and gluteus maximus, i.e., your butt muscles, to bring your backside up into the air. As you push back to the starting position, inhale deeply through your nose, and exhale through your mouth as you reach the V position.
An important feature of this exercise is breathing. When performing Hindu push-ups, it is highly recommended not to take a full breath. Everything is done on the half-breath with the muscle tension of the diaphragm to hold the air. Exhalation occurs when exiting push-ups. Perform this exercise at a moderate pace.
Here is the video to help you understand the correct technique:
If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you do as many push-ups or repetitions as you are able to, for example, 3 or 5 repetitions is fine. If you need to rest during the exercise, take a break in the starting V position. As you become better, you can add more sets and repetitions. For example, you can do 2 sets of 3 repetitions or push-ups. If you are more advanced, you can do more sets with more repetitions. For example, 3 sets with 8 to 10 push-ups or repetitions.
These push-ups should be done seamlessly in a sweeping motion without delay between each part.
Hindu push-ups are not a panacea; in addition, they have a big limitation on progression. If there are weak ligaments, you will not be able to progress in this exercise. In addition, the mechanics of the exercise “ties” the athlete, not allowing him to use additional burdens. At the same time, this complex is able to support the body in the post-operative period, to quickly get into shape, and most importantly, it helps both men and women. Moreover, the low intensity of the load reduces the traumatic danger of the exercise practically to zero.
Indian push-ups can also be done as morning exercises. Exercise perfectly invigorates, accelerates metabolism and tones the cardiovascular system.
Regular performance of the Hindu push-ups will significantly strengthen the arms of the chest and shoulders, as well as the muscles of the back and abs.