The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Hindu Pushup routine

Got this note:
"
Steve, can you talk in more detail about your own Hindu Pushups routine? How many sets and reps do you do? How many days per week? I admire your level of fitness and would like to make your routine a personal goal to strive for. Thanks!
Exec | 12.30.04 - 3:05 pm |"
###
Hindu Pushups are like the upward/downward dog segment of a Sun Salutation.  Given that Sun Salutations are considered the very heart of most Yoga systems, it's not surprising that when you extract this one movement and work on it, an extraordinary level of fitness can be achieved.  It is much more "three-dimensional" than an ordinary push-up, and has greater shoulder rotation than a "dive-bomber."  When practised with the "be breathed" technique, it is killer.  An excellent goal to shoot for (eventually) is a set of fifty reps.  Most people will be very lucky to be able to do ten the first time, as they have a total body involvement rare in a calesthenic.  In many ways, a Hindu Pushup is a natural development of the 5th Tibetan (which is done stiff-armed).  Me, personally, I like doing sets throughout the day---remember that I take five short exercise/meditation breaks during the day (the five minute miracle--although in my case it's more like a "15 minute miracle" because each break lasts about three minutes.).  During that break, I will probably do ten or fifteen Hindus, a little martial arts movement, maybe swing a club-bell.  Hindus are a new addition to my program, and I figure to do them three days a week.  On the alternate days, I do yoga.  The trick to the "5MM" is that you NEVER work "on the nerve"--in other words, during your five short exercise breaks, you never come close to a maximum effort.  You are working the SKILL of the movement, not exhausting yourself.  Then once a week or so, go for a max effort. 
##
On the other hand, if I wanted to specifically work Hindus, I might try sets of ten with five breaths between each set.  If that's too tough, here's a method that will get  your numbers up pretty quick: do a ladder.  One Hindu, and take one breath.  Two Hindus, and take two breaths.  Three Hindus, and three breaths.  Keep going as high as you can, and when you can't go any higher, take the requisite number of breaths, then start back at "one."  Killer!
And HAVE FUN.  This is all about getting to know your body better, not about beating it into shape.  Stretch it, twist it, have fun with it.  And it will love you back.

Steve

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