Twenty-five national kabaddi players (Asiad gold medalists 1990), mean age 27.91 years, who attended a national camp at the Sports Authority of India, Bangalore before the Beijing Asian Games in 1990, were investigated for their physical characteristics, body fat, lean body mass (LBM) and somatotype. The physiological characteristics assessed included back strength, maximum oxygen uptake capacity and anaerobic capacity (oxygen debt) and related cardiorespiratory parameters (oxygen pulse, breathing equivalent, maximum pulmonary ventilation, maximum heart rate). Body fat was calculated from skinfold thicknesses taken at four different sites, using Harpenden skinfold calipers. An exercise test (graded protocol) was performed on a bicycle ergometer (ER-900) using a computerized EOS Sprint (Jaeger, West Germany). The mean(s.d.) percentage body fat (17.56(3.48)) of kabaddi players was found to be higher than normal sedentary people. Their physique was found to be endomorphic mesomorph (3.8-5.2-1.7). Mean(s.d.) back strength, maximum oxygen uptake capacity (VO2max) and oxygen debt were found to be 162.6(18.08) kg, 42.6(4.91) ml kg-1 min-1 and 5.02(1.29) litre respectively. Physical characteristics, percentage body fat, somatotype, maximum oxygen uptake capacity and anaerobic capacity (oxygen debt) and other cardiorespiratory parameters were compared with other national counterparts. Present data are comparable with data for judo, wrestling and weightlifting. Since no such study has been conducted on international counterparts, these data could not be compared. These data may act as a guideline in the selection of future kabaddi players and to attain the physiological status comparable to the present gold medalists.
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