How to increase Speed, Agility, React-time, and Kabaddi footwork.
Kabaddi raiding is more akin to 100 meters run rather than a marathon. In a short time, the raider needs to be fast, change direction quickly and in short bursts. Speaking numerically the raider needs to scale a box of 10 meters width and 6.5 meters in length (including lobby) in the available 30 seconds of a raid. To create an impactful run within this constrained space, the player needs to train his or her body with explosive training.
What is explosive training?
It is combination training to build speed and strength resulting in power. In Kabaddi, the goal is to produce a huge amount of power for short bursts. Kabaddi has many parallels with the American football as both are contact-sports and need immense agility and power but at the same time; the difference being Kabaddi does not involve long-distance running during a game. Thus, being able to tap into explosive power is very important for a good Kabaddi player.
What is Agility? Why is it important in Kabaddi?
Agility is the ability of a person to quickly change the direction of movement. In Kabaddi, agility plays a very important role, as we see raiders change directions and following which the defenders change direction and vice-versa. Here Kabaddi draws parallels with squash where a player needs to run, reach the ball and quickly be back to his half before the next rally.
What is Reaction Time? Why is it important in Kabaddi?
Reaction time is the time taken by an individual to process the given command and act on it. In Kabaddi, reaction time plays a role in multiple aspects of the game, whether its a raider, who has to jump with the right timing, or needs to do a Dubki to escape a defender or a defender who attempts an ankle hold or dash.
Eg: Reaction time application can be seen when the raider suddenly turns back and attempts a toe touch on the cover, in response the cover quickly moves backward. In this situation, the command was given by the visual senses of the defender and the defender's brain apprehends the command to send motor signals to the muscle to move back; following which the defender physically moves. The time is taken for this process to happen called Reaction Time. Humans have a reaction time range between 200 to 300 milliseconds.
Exercises to increase Speed, Agility and Reaction Time
Let us see what exercises we can do to increase Speed, Agility, Reaction Time, and the benefits of these exercises. Kabaddi players need to do Plyometric exercises, which include explosive power like jumps and continuous stretching and contraction of muscles.
1. High Knee Jumps <0:20 Time on the video>
It is an insensitive cardio exercise, which helps in strengthening core muscles (abdominal, side abdominals, and middle to lower back muscles), Improves hand-leg movement, and flexibility. Movement of hands directs the movement of the legs (left hand is responsible for right leg and right hand is for the left leg. If the hand moves fast then legs tend to mover faster and also helps in balancing the body during the movement.) It is important for a Kabaddi player to have a good balance between both legs and hands.
2. 50-meter sprint <0:44 Time on the video>
As discussed earlier in this article, Kabaddi players run inside a court within a defined length and width, it becomes very important to produce a high-intensity power when they run. Thus 50-meter sprint run is the perfect distance to run for Kabaddi players to practice in daily fitness.
3. Shuttle Run <1:17 Time on the video>
It is a dynamic exercise, comes under the explosive training program and helps in improving agility and speed. There are many varieties of shuttle run for Kabaddi Players. This exercise targets all the muscles of the leg, thigh, and core.
4. Front and Backward Run <1: 40 Time on the video>
It is a modified shuttle run. In the below video, you will see that this exercise is being performed at <1:40> seconds. As and when the coach whistles, players start running backward and forward. This type of training helps Kabaddi Players in improving reaction time, agility as well as speed.
5. Sideways Shuttle Run <2:03 Time on the video>
Kabaddi is a sport where players do a lot of sideways movements while playing, sideways shuttle run helps a player to develop and increase speed in sideways run, this exercise has a good effect on abductor and adductor muscles on the thigh.
6. Push-ups and Run <2:38 Time on the video>
It is a combination exercise for the upper body, core, and legs, where push-ups focus on arms and core, running focuses on the explosive power of legs. This is an exercise that resembles escaping from Ankle Hold and Thigh Hold in Kabaddi. Running during the exercise helps in improving the explosive speed of the player.
7. Sit-ups / Crunches and Run <2:58 Time on the video>
This exercise is a combination of two exercises. running focuses on the explosive power of legs which helps increase speed whereas crunches/ sit-ups target abdominal muscles.
8. Frog Jump and Run <3:20 Time on the video>
It is an explosive exercise, Frog Jumps stretches muscles like calves, quadriceps where Running focuses on the increasing speed.
9. On the spot jump and Run <3:38 Time on the video>
On the spot quick jumps help in improving explosive power of calves, whereas running focuses on increasing speed.
10. Run and pause <4:13 Time on the video>
Run and pause in completely a reaction time training exercise, where when the coach whistle they start running with 100% effort and stop with the next whistle, this helps players to take a breath and prepare for the next sprint. These sprints are part of explosive training.
11. Kabaddi Footwork - Front and back <4:28 Time on the video>
This exercise helps in hand and leg movement and prepares the player for the match. In Kabaddi players are supposed to keep moving as if they stay in one place, chances of getting out increases. This exercise can be done with the agility ladder in many modified ways to improve footwork.
12. Track running <4:58 Time on the video>
In the video, you can see how players run fast and slow jogs with the coaches' direction, where the slow jogs help the players to take breaks for recovery and breath, while fast sprint benefits with an increase in speed in Kabaddi.
To become a top-notch Kabaddi raider you need to be fast like Naveen Kumar, agile like Pawan Sehrawat, and have a hawk-like reaction time of Pardeep Narwal. Improving speed directly translates to improving your hand touch and bonus like skill. Whereas improving agility translates to having a fantastic jump and a great escape. Finally, improving reaction time allows you to utilize this weapon a fraction faster! So focus on these 3 dimensions during your workout to become a more complete raider.