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Mallakhamb is a traditional sport, originating from the Indian subcontinent, in which a gymnast performs aerial yoga or gymnastic postures and wrestling grips in concert with a vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or rope. The word Mallakhamb also refers to the pole used in the sport.The pole is usually made from sheesham (Indian rosewood) polished with castor oil.Three popular versions of Mallakhamb are practiced using a sheesham pole, cane, or ropeThe name Mallakhamb derives from the terms malla, meaning wrestler, and khamb, which means a pole. Literally meaning “wrestling pole”, the term refers to a traditional training implement used by wrestlers.
In this variation, a vertical wooden pole made of teak wood or sheesham is fixed to the ground. The pole is smeared with castor oil, which helps to minimize excessive friction. Participants perform various acrobatic feats and poses while hanging on the pole. Wrestlers mount, dismount, and utilize the pole for various complex calisthenics designed to develop their grip, stamina, and strength in the arms, legs, and upper body.There are a number of pillars, although the most common is a free-standing upright pole, some eight to ten inches in diameter, planted into the ground. The pole used in competitions is a straight pole made of teak or sheesham wood, standing 2.6 metres (8.5 ft) in height with a circumference of 55 centimetres (22 in) at the base. It gradually tapers to a circumference of 35 centimetres (14 in) at the top.
In this variation, the participant performs exercises while hanging on a rope suspended from a support at the top.The rope is typically 5.5 metres (18 ft) long, and approximately 1 to 2 centimetres (0.39 to 0.79 in) in diameter. The rope is caught by the performer in the gap between the big toe and the second toe, along with one or both hands. After climbing upwards on the rope, the performer ties the rope around the body through a sequence of steps. The performer then reaches various positions called Udi (“to fly”), some of which are imitations of standard asana.
This type of Mallakhamb is similar to Pole Mallakhamb, but it uses a wooden pole shorter than the standard pole in Pole Mallakhamb. The pole is hung with hooks and a chain, leaving a gap between the ground and the bottom of the Mallakhamb.