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Q & A: Hindu Squats
Q: I came across your work on Joe Rogan's podcast a few years ago and have been a fan ever since. I was hoping you could tell me if you think I'd be better off focusing my efforts more on pistol squats or Hindu squats? I am not training for any specific sport or activity, just overall health and aesthetics.
A: If you're just training for health, then, you don't need to concentrate on either; simple flat-foot squats -- done slowly -- with high-tension,
The objective of health is to protect the knee joints, preserve mobility... and the ability to get into a nice, deep squat.
I look at the squat as one of the ten archetypal human postures, and to be able to get down into a natural, deep squat and to hold it comfortably is your human birthright and a marker of the biological age. In other words: if you can't squat, you are old.
So there's no reason to focus on any particular variation -- it's mastery of the full-body movement you're after. Once you've explored all the options of the double-leg squats, then it's reasonable to explore the single-leg variations. Without a doubt, the single-leg squats require admirable strength and agility, and especially the free-standing versions.
But here's the thing to keep in mind: you should never get injured in any exercise you are doing. Any exercise you decide upon, keep the form as safe as possible, meaning you don't use excessive momentum, misalignment, or any other form break simply to get another repetition.
Hindu squats are primarily a strength-endurance exercise, but there are other slow, high-tension variations of squatting on the toes as well, for developing knee-strength.
Whatever you decide -- it doesn't ultimately matter. What matters is whatever you can sustain, and perform safely. Not everyone can do Hindus or pistol squats.
Q: Thank you for your detailed response, Could you recommend some of your digital downloads, to build a weekly routine around for basic health/strength/mobility?
The 5-Pillar BW series, with The Specimens Workouts