Mallakhamb or Malkhamb is one of the traditional Indian sports in which a gymnast performs feats and poses in concert with a vertical wooden pole or rope. The word also refers to the pole used in the sport.
Mallakhamb as the name suggests is a pole used by wrestlers for practicing their skills in the game KUSTI (wrestling), which is one of the traditional and ancient Indian sport and exercise. But nowadays the trend has changed and it has got a special identity. Mallakhamb needs concentration, speed and flexibility. It is the only game which is played against gravity. It is a good exercise to our body especially for backbone. Our whole body gets a message while performing on Mallakhamb.
The word “Mallakhamb” is composed of malla which denotes a gymnast or a man of strength and khamb which means a pole. Mallakhamb can therefore be translated to English as pole gymnastics.
TYPES OF MALLAKHAMB or MALKHAMB There are three ways in which mallakhamb may be performed – on a fixed pole, hanging pole or rope. Three decades ago, pole mallakhamb gave way to the rope mallakhamb. This is closest to the legendary Indian rope tricks and requires alertness, focus and balance. There were many studies on yoga and its effects on physical function 1* There are 3 types of Mallakhamb which are played on competitive level.
FIXED MALLAKHAMB or MALKHAMB It is a vertical pole fixed in the ground. Generally teak wood or Sesame (a type of rose wood) is commonly used because of its physical properties such as toughness and soft surface. Castor oil is applied to its surface in order to reduce the friction and minimize the injuries. Generally it is 10 to 12 feet high above the ground level. It has got a diameter of 5 to 6 inches at the bottom and 1.5 to 2 inches at the top.
HANGING MALLAKHAMB or MALKHAMB It is a small version of the fixed Mallakhamb and is generally used for balancing exercises. The wooden pole is suspended with the help of a hook and chain. The degree of difficulty while performing this exercise is due to its swinging and revolving motion. The fill body has to be kept very close to this Mallakhamb. It is hanged at the height of 3.5 to 4 feet above the ground.
ROPE MALLAKHAMB or MALKHAMB It is a different type of Mallakhamb from those mentioned above and is a modernized version of the c ane Mallakhamb. The structural difference between the above 2 and the Rope Mallakhamb is noteworthy. The Rope Mallakhamb is an answer to the modern day problems like space and transportation. Various Yogic and Gymnastic positions are performed gracefully on the rope Mallakhamb and that to without tying literal knots to the rope.