Unconventional Strength Training Equipment: Guide to Steel Maces & Clubbells, balancedbrawn

Unconventional Strength Training Equipment: Guide to Steel Maces & Clubbells

Barbells, dumbbells and machines dominate most gym equipment rosters. However, taking your training outdoors or to more specialized studios opens up options with ancient roots and functional benefits. Enter steel maces, clubs and clubbells! 

These unconventional implements build full body strength in impactful new ways. Long used in ancient martial arts and combat training, they’ve been revived lately by physical culture enthusiasts.  

While unfamiliar to many lifters, mace and club training offers versatility and challenges your body dynamically. This in-depth guide will get you started swinging and reaping the unique benefits. Let’s dive in! 

An Introduction to Steel Mace Training

Unconventional Strength Training Equipment: Guide to Steel Maces & Clubbells, balancedbrawn

The steel mace is arguably the simplest looking yet most imposing of the bunch. Essentially a steel ball affixed to the end of a stick, maces were historically used on battlefields to penetrate armor.  

Today’s fitness maces weigh anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds. The spherical head shape lends itself to a variety of swinging, spinning and rotation patterns. This improves grip strength, shoulder mobility and core stabilization beyond regular dumbbell moves. 

Steel mace workouts hit multiple angles while preventing repetitive strain. Since the resistance sits farther from your hands, leveraging it also engages your lats, triceps and torso in new ways. Let’s explore the many benefits: 

Benefits of Steel Mace Training

  • Builds shoulder strength and mobility through a wide range of motion patterns. Enhances rotator cuff stability. 
  • Challenges core and grip strength by wielding momentum and a shifting center of gravity. 
  • Allows multi-planar movements like circular swings rather than just saggital plane lifting.  
  • Improves balance and proprioceptive awareness. Links upper and lower body powerfully. 
  • Provides a unique mix of mobility, stability, strength and conditioning in one tool. 
  • Safer stressful on joints compared to heavy barbells due to smooth steel construction. Easy to learn proper technique. 

Essential Steel Mace Exercises

The video offers an excellent opportunity to familiarize yourself with various Steel Mace exercises. However, for novice participants, I suggest commencing with these 7 thoughtfully chosen exercises, exclusively curated to cater to beginners.

1. 360 Degree Swings

Holding the base, swing the mace between your legs and fully around your torso using your core and hips. Go slowly until you build proficiency. 

2. Figure 8 Swings

Trace a figure 8 pattern with the mace, crossing the front and back of your body in a dynamic sequence. Keep your core braced. 

3. Lateral Swings

Swing the mace side to side across your body with arms straight. Move your feet to remain balanced. 

4. Arc Swings

In a semicircular motion, swing the mace laterally up to eye level on one side. Release down with control. Repeat on both sides.

5. Vertical Swings

Hoisting it straight up, swing the mace vertically from between your legs to overhead in a smooth, powerful motion.  

6. Halo Circles

Hold the mace horizontally and rotate your shoulders and arms to trace a circular halo around your head. Keep elbows slightly bent. 

7. Kneeling Chop Swings

With staggered feet, swing the mace diagonally across your torso to the opposite knee. Switch sides. Enhances core rotation. 

There are plenty more patterns and nuanced techniques, but these drills cover the basics well. Start with lighter maces before increasing weight to hone skills. Now let’s see how clubs take things up a notch. 

Introduction to Clubbell Training

Unconventional Strength Training Equipment: Guide to Steel Maces & Clubbells, balancedbrawn

Steel clubs have solid ends rather than a ball, allowing different handling and exercise options. Clubbells take this a step further by combining two clubs into one longer bar with spherical ends.  

The standard clubbell is around 4.5 feet long and 5 pounds. The heaviest clubbells exceed 50 pounds! Their long lever arms bring big challenges for grip, core tension and mobility. 

Also called Indian clubs, they’ve been used across cultures for centuries to build warrior strength and skills. The unified handle lets you move both ends in tandem through swirling, tossing patterns. 

Benefits of Clubbell Training 

  • Unmatched upper body and torso mobility developing range of motion. Enhances thoracic rotation. 
  • Challenges stability across multiple planes and movement velocities. 
  • Strengthens shoulders, grips, biceps and triceps through fuller range of motion. 
  • Hones coordination between the arms and upper body. 
  • Fires the core with every swirling, tossing and spinning move. 
  • Gains translate well to athletic skills and grappling maneuvers. 

Essential Clubbell Exercises

Engaging with the video content will grant you a profound understanding of the exercises featured. As a prudent starting point, I advise focusing on these 7 carefully curated exercises, expertly tailored for individuals new to clubbell.

1. Pendulum Swings

Holding one end, swing the clubbell between your legs similar to kettlebell swings. Drive from the hips. 

2. Front Circles

Trace horizontal circles forward with both ends of the clubbell fully extended from your shoulders. 

3. Side Circles

Rotate your torso and trace vertical circles with both club ends at your sides.  

4. Windmills

Keep one club planted as you pivot and trace arcs around head with the other end. Switch sides.  

5. Clock Circles

Trace a full clockwise circle around your body, bending and extending your arms. Reverse direction. 

6. Upper Cuts

Explosively swing one club end diagonally across your body from hip to shoulder. Mimics a boxing move. 

7. Snatches

In a dynamic move, propel the clubbell from between your legs to overhead. Reverse the motion with control. 

The Options Are Endless 

This just scratches the surface of integrating clubs and maces into strength sessions. Entire workout programs can be built around mastering the nuanced patterns and body mechanics. 

To recap, mace training improves shoulder mobility and stability through swinging steel balls in multiple planes. Clubbells take things up a notch by combining two clubs into an extended lever you manipulate through swirling patterns. 

Training Recommendations

Interested in wielding maces, clubs and clubbells? Follow these tips to maximize results: 

  • Enlist an experienced coach initially to nail down proper form and technique. Lifting clubs is all in the groove.  
  • Start with lightweight maces under 10 pounds and get proficient before moving up incrementally. 
  • Begin clubbell training with coordination drills before attempting crazy looping patterns. Walk before you run. 
  • Use these tools for whole body warm ups to get the blood flowing. 
  • Insert them into strength training days for unique core and upper body challenges. 
  • Program shorter metabolic circuits alternating mace swings and club flows.  
  • Use them on active recovery days when you want to move without overexerting the body. 
  • Maintain control and move through a full range of motion on swings and releases. 
  • Combine with static holds, carries and bodyweight moves for time or rep based challenges.  

Sample Mace & Clubbell Training Circuits

Here are two 15-minute mace and clubbell focused training routines to fuel your workouts: 

Mace Circuit

  • A1) Mace 360 Swings x15 
  • B1) Goblet Squats x10 
  • A2) Mace Figure 8 Swings x10 
  • B2) Push Ups x12 
  • Rest 60 seconds between circuits. Repeat 3x. 

Clubbell Circuit

  • A1) Front Circles x10/side 
  • B1) Reverse Lunge to Press x8/side   
  • A2) Pendulum Swings x12 
  • B2) Chin Ups x5 
  • C1) Side Bends w/ Mace x10/side 
  • Rest 90 seconds between circuits. Repeat 4x. 

Program these circuits two or three times per week after a dynamic warm up. Increase reps or rounds as you build work capacity. Stay smooth and controlled on all swinging patterns. 

Where to Buy Steel Maces, Clubs & Clubbells

Here are some top rated sources to purchase quality maces, clubs and clubbells: 

  • EliteFTS – trusted strength brand selling maces from 5 to 50 pounds. All skill levels. 
  • Sorinex – Fitness specialty equipment company offering pro-grade maces, clubs and clubbells. Custom options. 
  • Christian’s Fitness Factory – Broad selection of clubbells from 5 to over 50 pounds. Good budget sets. 
  • Iron Bull Strength – Hand crafts maces and clubs in the US. Fun designs and finishes. 
  • Dragon Door – Publisher selling popular clubbell training books and implements.  
  • Kettlebell Kings – Primarily sells KBs but also has steel maces available in multiple sizes.  

Check product details for exercises the items are intended for. Beginners should start on the lighter end before sizing up gradually as skills improve. 

Why Add Maces and Clubs to Your Training

Unconventional Strength Training Equipment: Guide to Steel Maces & Clubbells, balancedbrawn

Simply put, the dynamic swinging and swirling actions translate to real world mobility and power. Here are the top benefits of training with maces, clubs and clubbells: 

  • Builds 3D shoulder strength missing from presses and curls. 
  • Unlocks upper body mobility through large range of motion.  
  • Challenges your core and grip strength in new ways. 
  • Enhances proprioception and links upper/lower body. 
  • Uses momentum for dynamic, explosive power. 
  • Allows time-efficient metabolic conditioning. 
  • Fun, versatile tools for swings, flows and rotations.   
  • Lowers repetitive strain compared to barbells and machines. 

Bottom Line

Ready to start swinging? Order a basic 10 pound mace and 5 pound clubbell to begin exploring. Gradually work up to more complex flows and heavier weights. Record your training, stay smooth and controlled, and enjoy the journey! 

These ancient strength and conditioning tools deliver manageable intensity for any skill level. Let me know if you have any other questions on where to start with maces, clubs or clubbells training. I’m happy to point you in the right direction. Now grab a mace and start swinging! 

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