In general, for bodyweight squats, the instructions are usually to bring your hands in front of you as you go down to counterbalance that your bodyweight is behind your feet. Hindu Squats operate the other direction with the recommendation generally being to have your arms in front of you when standing, and behind you when fully squatted. Why?

My theories range from it making you work harder (because it's counter to how it's generally done) to "it's just always been that way" to it being a matter of that since you're going up on the balls / toes of your feet instead of flatfooted, the weight distribution is far enough forward.

1 Answer 1


I always thought it had more to do with breathing than balance.

I used to follow Matt Furey's teachings, and remember him saying that if you could do them flat footed, then that was ok, they didn't have to be done on your toes (but most people can't get flat footed).

For breathing, when you're standing up, you swing your arms in front of you and breath in. It does help with balance somewhat, but it also makes it easier to take a lungful. Breathing in while squatting down and swinging your arms behind you just doesn't feel right (to me anyway).

Compare the breathing to a standard, weighted squat, where you'd generally use the valsalva maneuver to brace yourself then exhale on the way up (more or less).

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