Last Update On November 16, 2011
High Rep Hindu Squats - Knee Builder Or Not
The Hindu squat is considered good exercise for knee ligament health when done for high reps. Ìany famous fitness authorities such as Steve Maxwell actually believe that.
The Hindu squat is essentially a squat with your heels not touching the floor and your knees way in front of your toes. Actually most people are squatting this way during real life activities. Whenever I says: “Squat” to a friend who is not involved in weight training he/she will squat in that fashion. Why?
Reason number one is lack of ankle flexibility and awareness of body mechanics.
High rep Hindu squats are a waste of time as far as knee tendon and ligament strength goes. Let's be logical - how does the ligaments and the tendons get stronger? Pretty much the same way your muscles get stronger - they adapt and recover from the stress placed on them. I don't know about you but when you can do 100 Hindu squat it means only one thing - you are doing cardio rather than strength training and you might just as well count on walking to make your legs and tendons stronger. It ain't gonna happen because your body does not have any stimulation to grow. In other words if doing countless number of Hindu squats is making your knee stronger so does walking.
"Bro. But the gurus are saying that you need more reps for tendon/ligament work. That true?"
What would be the logic for that to be true? Like I said in order for a tendon to get stronger you have to stress it in a way that will cause adaptation in the lower rep range. The tendon is nothing more than a rope attached to your muscle. It works every time the muscle contracts.
However since the blood supply of the connective tissues (tendons, ligaments..etc) is quite poor compared to the one of your muscles they recover much slower. That's why many gurus believe that you need very high reps in order to increase the blood circulation. But to me increased blood circulation is more like a pump except that tendon pump and muscle pump obviously feel quite different. The pump might be a good feeling but it does not mean that you are getting stronger since you can get pumped up with 5 kg dumbbells. In order for your body to get stronger it must do something it has never done before and the reps have to be low in order to make the body adapt by growth. Otherwise all marathon runners would be super strong. Obviously they are not because the requirements placed on the body during a marathon are quite different.
So, yeah..gurus can fuck off with their silly high rep thing. In my opinion unless you want to do some cardio or increase the blood supply around an injury you don't need high rep work. It's not going to make you stronger. Grow some muscles and unless you use some kind of drugs you will have strong tendons to match them up. Of course tendons don't increase in size but they get stronger and thicker.
"What if I add weight to the Hindu squat? Will that work?"
Yes and no. Adding weight will obviously increase the intensity of the movement but since the Hindu squat is notorious for causing knee problems you should be very careful and your progress will be very slow. I don't see why anybody would do Hindu squat when the regular squat is much more safer and hits a lot more muscle groups.
Training the Hindu squat makes sense if you are a dancer or martial artist and your activity includes elements or skills where you are in a Hindu squat like position but even in that case adding weight is useless and dangerous since you will most likely have to support only your bodyweight during the mentioned activities.
In my opinion most people will get more benefit from performing regular squats especially when they are looking for increased joint integrity and strength. Safe the Hindu squat for the “functional guys” and their mysterious ways to increase tendon strength.
Hindu Squats may be useful for bboys and bgirls. Still Not essential exercise in any way though.
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