This exercise is supplementary to Dands [Hindu pushups]. Dands give a prominent shape particularly to arms and chest while Baithaks shape calf muscles and thigh-muscles, tending to develop wonderful stamina of the performer. These two exercises enable Indian Wrestlers to become invincible in obtaining strength.

Generally the number of Baithaks should be double the number of Dands. Baithaks make the wrestlers firm of footwork in wrestling. Quickness in Baithaks develops quickness of body-movements and the repetition increases stamina. Thigh muscles are the longest and strongest muscles of the body and Baithaks, running and jumping make leg-muscles brawny and strong. 

European wrestlers are generally weak in leg strength and hence they fall easy victims to Indian Wrestlers. European wrestlers coming in contact with Indian wrestlers are now slowly realizing the importance and need of Baithaks in developing leg muscles. 

Baithaks on toes, simple Baithaks on full soles and jumping Baithaks are some of the varieties practiced by Indian Wrestlers. In the initial stage of practice in this form of exercise, calf-muscles and thigh muscles ache a little, but constant daily practice without stoppage stops the complaint and increases the vigor, stamina and suppleness of the performer.

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Guard against over exercise and over-straining. Limitations in this practise are to be determined and fixed by the performer himself according to his experience.

Indian wrestlers use stone-rings of different weights round their necks while practising Baithaks, to increase strength of the leg-muscles and make the foot-work firm.

Some Indian Wrestlers repeat these Baithaks even four or five thousand times, to increase the stamina and resisting power. The increase in the number of Baithaks should be gradual.

  • D.C. Mujumdar (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Indian Physical Culture,1950. 




A simple, time tested “youth-restoring calisthenics” routine of ancient Indian and Chinese martial arts masters. ⁣

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