SUMTOLA

The Sumtola has been nicknamed the Indian barbell and can be used for many similar movements. It's name means "equal weight" depicting it is balanced. Triceps extensions are a common application as is pressing. However, the main use is in the serpentine swing pattern, used to condition grip, arms, lower back and hips and has a great deal of rotational and counter rotational elements to it. It is a good cardiovascular exercise and as with the large majority of traditional Indian exercises exerts effort throughout the whole body.

The sumtola is taken from the ground and moved behind the head, before being brought down past the opposite shoulder and swung lengthways between the legs. The motion is then reversed for a smooth transition. In the downward portion there are many similarities to a kettlebell swing but with an emphasis on a rounded back, due to the nature of wrestling where having a straight back whilst lifting an opponent is a rarity.

Sumtola are rarely used in the Akhara but many will have at least one gathering dust in a corner being replaced by conventional barbells. This is a shame as while they may not produce the raw strength of the Jori or Gada, they have benefits to shoulder and thoracic mobility as well as a good conditioning effect.