Made famous by early 20th-century Indian wrestlers – such as The Great Gama, who is reputed to have performed 5,000 reps of this squat variation (‘baithak’) and 3,000 reps of the press-up (‘dand’) every day – these two moves should not be lost to the ages. You’ll perform them in a ladder format. After a thorough warm-up (or workout), kick off with 15 squats followed by 15 press-ups. Jump back up and do 14 of each move, then 13, 12, continuing down the ladder to one of each. You’ll do a total of 240 reps, building your chest, shoulders, triceps and quads.
A SQUAT BUT HARDER
Forget the usual squat cues to keep your heels planted: in the Hindu squat, you keep your heels raised. Rise on to your toes and squat, driving your knees forwards and keeping your arms at your sides. Push through the balls of your feet to stand, keeping your heels raised and swinging your arms forwards for balance. Begin with a set of 15.
NOW FOR THE DROP
The press-up comes next, a move that, fittingly, bridges the gap between calisthenics and yoga. Assume a traditional press-up position, then push your hips high to the sky, creating an inverted ‘V’. Flex at the elbows and lower your nose to the floor between your hands before shifting your weight forwards and pushing the ground away until your hips are on the floor and your torso is upright. Look to the sky for maximum flex before reversing the move and repeating.
STAND UP, COUNT DOWN
Back to the legs. Forcing your body to repeatedly drive blood to your lower limbs then back up again spikes your heart rate. This style of training builds stamina while upping the calorie burn. Lose a rep with each set – the workload is getting lower, but so is your reprieve between moves, meaning fatigue will set in, fast. Keep your form tight and rest only as necessary.
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