As part of our way of easing you into the weekend, we see Friday as more of a light-hearted day. This morning, I was thinking about new sports I could take up to help me regain some of the fitness that I might have lost this Winter. I did some research and came down to 4 crazy sports from around the world, and how I would benefit from taking them up.
Sepak Takraw is an incredibly athletic sport that originated in south east Asia. It is similar to volleyball, in that the game is played on a court about the same size, and with two teams (usually three per team).
The ball is passed from player to play using anything but their hands and arms. Points are scored in the same way as volleyball.
Sepak Takraw is a sport that utilises the leg, feet and neck muscles in the fullest extent. The core is also tested to the extreme. Anyone looking to get into the sport should be advised that it can result in injuries from the athletic jumps and springs the players produce.
For more information about Sepak Takraw, go to the official website of the sport, located here .
A combination of field hockey, American football and soccer, hurling is a game played almost exclusively in Ireland.
At first glance, it looks like a sport that shares many similarities with lacrosse, but hurling is played with hard sticks as opposed to netted sticks. What’s more, there are 15 players on each team, and so the action is frenetic and non stop. Hurling has been called the world’s fastest field game.
The aim is to hit the ball with your stick (called hurleys) as hard as possible towards the opponent’s goal. You score by hitting the ball over or under it. You can even run with the ball in your hands, but for no more than 4 steps. Once your 4 steps are up, you have to launch the ball into the air and smack it as hard as possible.
Taking up hurling will do wonders for your cardiovascular muscles and your stamina. As the fastest field game in the world, you will be expected to sprint in high energy bursts for the entire duration (70 minutes). Leg, arm, and core muscles will be put through the test on a daily basis.
Go here for more information about hurling, the fastest game on grass.
Just in case you thought Hurling couldn’t be one upped, introducing Jai-Alai. Known as the fastest sport on earth, Jai-Alai originated in the Basque region of France and Spain.
Similar to squash, players stand on a court facing one wall, and must fling the ball to each other via the wall. Less similar to squash is the 25 inch glove each player uses to do so.
The ball can travel at speeds above 180 miles per hour. The ball must be caught in the opposing players glove, or else that player concedes a point. If the ball is caught, then the player returns the shot.
Jai-Alai will improve your reactions immeasurably. It will also improve your upper body strength, particularly focused on the forearms and chest.
See more information on the “game of a thousand thrills” here.
The final sport on our list is Kabaddi. Mainly played in India and Bangladesh, Kabaddi players see their game as a cross between tag and wrestling.
Two teams of 7 play on a court about half the size of a traditional basketball court. One team sends one of their team members into the opposition’s half to try to tag the opponents. Incredibly, the rules state that the player being sent cannot draw a breath in the opposition half. Instead, that player must repeatedly shout “Kabaddi” while not in his own half, to prove to the referee that he or she is not drawing a breath. The player must tag one or more players, then return to his own half without being wrestled to the ground. If a player is wrestled to the ground, the wrestlers wait until the pinned player has to draw a breath, and they therefore gain a point.
Some Indians claim to have proof that the game has been played for over 4000 years. Either way, kabaddi must be the craziest sport on my list. Taking up the sport will result in an increase in upper body strength and muscles. Leg muscles are also tested.
For more information about kabaddi, take a look here.
So that’s my Friday list for you guys. Please share and comment in the section below. I want to hear about the craziest sports you know.
You may not be a Kabaddi enthusiast or a hurling warrior, but if you’re into sport and fitness take a look at our online fitness store. We have equipment, clothing and items all tailored to specific sports, and hand picked by the Life Retreat team. Check it out here.