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  • Indian clubs or meels are a type of exercise equipment used for developing strength. They comprise bowling-pin shaped wooden clubs of varying sizes and weights, which are swung in certain patterns as part of an exercise program. They can range from a few pounds each, up to special clubs that can weigh as much as 50 pounds. They were used in carefully choreographed routines where the clubs were swung in unison by a group of exercisers, led by an instructor in the front, similar to modern aerobics classes. The routines varied according to the group's ability and the weight of the clubs used. Despite their common English name implying an Indian origin, the so-called Indian clubs were in fact created in the Near East. Properly referred to as meels, they are first recorded as being used by wrestlers in ancient Persia, Egypt and the rest of the Middle East. The practice has continued to the present day, notably in the varzesh-e bastani tradition practiced in the zurkaneh of Iran. From Persia, the Mughals brought meels to South Asia where are still used by pehlwan in South Asia today.

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