Today’s question comes from Norm, and it is about Mace Swinging.
- “Hi Jedd
I picked up your Home Made Strength Online DVD. I’m very happy with the product. My only question is whether the exercise where you swing the mace around your head should be used as a warmup, main strength move, or finisher? -Norm-“
Thanks for the note, Norm. Mace Swinging is a lot of fun, plus is is very versatile, so I put together a quick article for you.
In addition, I just talked with Ryan Pitts, and he just set up a special discount code just for my subscribers.
From Ryan Pitts at Stronger Grip Enterprises:
- “I have been making the handles on some of the maces loadable at request of customer. I will give this upgrade to anyone who uses your diesel5 code. They get 5% off and a bonus $25 value of loadable handle, giving the mace an extra 10-16 lb capacity depending on what kind of media and length of mace they order. -Ryan Pitts-“
To get your own Mace with the custom adjustable-weight handle, use this link:
Be sure to use the code => diesel5 <= when you check out to get 5% off and get a cool adjustable handle.
The Benefits of Mace Swinging
Maces: Multi-Purpose Tools, Perfect for Warm-up, Strength Work, or Finishers
Is the Mace best used as a Warm-up device, a Strength Movement, or as a Finisher?
The Mace can actually be used for all three of these purposes. Allow me to detail each one…
Mace Training as a Warm-up
When done with a light weight, Mace Training can be a great warm-up for the upper body.
The shoulders, biceps, triceps, and the lower arms get used under light loads very fluidly with Mace Swinging, and this promotes blood flow to the area, lubricating the joints, making them feel good, especially after a long day where you are stuck in a chair or something like that.
In addition, the over the shoulder and behind the head movements of Mace Swinging open up the thoracic region of the torso, which can help you lift heavier later on in the workout.
Maces as a Strength Movement
You can also test your strength and coordination with heavy mace swinging.
I had a giant mace / club made several years ago that I call the Demolition Club.
Here’s a post on the Demolition Club.
It’s literally a giant artillery shell with a handle and it weighs 89lbs. The handle is super thick and there is no ball at the end of the handle, you not only must get your core, torso, and shoulders ready to go in order to swing this thing, but you grip must be ON too.
So, you can load a mace up heavy, especially shot-loadable ones like Ryan Pitts makes here, and keep the repetitions lower for a very challenging strength movement.
Maces as a Finisher
I, generally, use my mace training as a “finisher” of sorts the majority of the time.
During periods where I have no contests to train for, or if I am looking to burn some extra calories, I use Mace Swinging as “Upper Body Cardio,” at the end of the workout, doing a handful of sets for maximum repetitions.
Generally, I will wear some kind of gloves with these, in order to prevent blisters. Plus, my hands have to work a bit harder, so I get a good Grip Strength Challenge out of it.
I even like to do some “Sprint-Style” Mace Swinging, where I try to rip off 20 repetitions as fast as possible for 4 to 6 sets.
So, really, depending on what you want to go for, Mace Swinging can be a great multi-purpose form of training.
I like the shot-loadable Mace that I have, and you can also buy plate loadable ones too.
Good luck with your Mace Training, Norm.
P.S. Don’t have a Mace? I gotcha covered:
You can buy a sweet shot-loadable mace here.<= Use code Diesel5 to get 5% off
Mace and Club Swinging
Originally posted March 21, 2012
One type of strength and endurance training that almost no one practices anymore, but certainly should is Mace and Club Swinging. This sort of training has many names from macebell training, to circular training, but really what it comes down to is swinging either a mace or a club around your head and down past your back with either one or two hands.
What is a Mace?
I first heard the term mace as a teenager, studying medieval weaponry. In that context, the term mace is used to describe a medieval weapon that was a ball with spikes on it that the warrior would swing and hit his adversary with. These days, the mace is a ball on the end of a long handle, usually about 4 feet long or even longer. In fact, Indian Wrestlers would swing a mace, or gada as they would call them, for their strength training and conditioning.
One type of Battle Mace
What is a Club?
Originally, clubs were weapons of old as well. They were really any sort of blunt object used to hit someone or something in order to hurt, maim, or kill it. This was usually done with one hand. These days, clubs are used in a swinging style in order to bring about the same types of benefits as mace swinging for people such as wrestlers, baseball player, football players, firemen, police, etc.
A Medieval Ball-Headed Club – Beat some asses with this piece!
I recently found this old video clip of the greatest Persian Club swinger ever to grace the wrestling ring, the Iron Sheik, swinging his “70+ Lb” clubs and allowing other wrestlers and bystanders to try the $10,000 Persian Club Challenge. You’ll see that this form of Club, with a much different shape, is more in line with the Persian style of Club, with much more mass to wield than other thinner forms of Indian Clubs.
From the video you can tell that Club Swinging requires a different form of strength to be developed in order to be able to just get the clubs into position, let alone to be able to swing them with authority like the Iron Sheik, especially the obvious time spent in the weight room by the guys in the video who failed miserably to swing the clubs, one of them a young Jim Hellwig who would later become the Ultimate Warrior.
I thought it was so cool watching the Iron Sheik swing clubs as a youngster, that I always wanted to try it. That was the reason I first gave it a try, but now after doing it for several years, I have found that there are many benefits to be gotten from club swinging.
Benefits of Club and Mace Swinging
The benefits of Club and Mace Swinging are numerous, including:
- Grip Strength and Endurance – This movement requires you to flex and adjust the hand dynamically throughout the range of motion which tires out the entire hand as well as the full length of the forearm
- Shoulder Flexibility / Mobility – The relatively light weight of the implement is enough to stretch out the musculature slightly, improving range of motion. This is also effective as an upper body warm-up
- Core Training – Maintaining a stable core while swinging the club or mace-style implement dynamically works the abs, lats, and muscles of the back as well, again, excellent for a warm-up method or finisher for your workouts.
What is the difference between Maces and Clubs?
There are a few differences between maces and clubs. First off, Maces are usually much longer than clubs, and produce more leverage when they are being swung, even if their heads are roughly the same size and weight.
Another difference between maces and clubs are the number of hands used. Generally a mace is swung using two hands while a club is swung using only one hand. Of course if the mace is extremely light it can be used with just one hand. Conversely if a club is extremely heavy, then it may be necessary to use two hands in order to swing it.
Regardless of the weight, length of the handle, or the number of hands used to swing the club or mace, it is a very beneficial form of training for anyone who needs to have strong hands and solid grip in order to be successful at what they do.
Stronger Grip Enterprises – Mace and Club Training Tools
There are lots of places where you can get Club and Mace training tools, but one of the best I have found is Stronger Grip. I have many different training tools from Stronger Grip and I love all of them.
Stronger Grip has several different types of tools that are used for this sort of training. Many are shot loadable, which means you will have the benefit of starting out with lighter weights and gradually working up over time. Shot loadable implements are also fun to train on because they make such a cool noise when you swing them around.
Like I said, I own several pieces of Stronger Grip equipment, but by far, the ones I use most often are the clubs and maces, and I use the maces more routinely because they are a two handed implement and I am able to do more weight with them. I guess I just enjoy Mace training more.
Some quick links to the Stronger Grip equipment line of Clubs and Maces:
- Indian Clubs – The Stronger Grip Indian Clubs are the perfect size to reap all the benefits, plus, they are shot loadable making it even easier for you to maximize the benefits.
- Plate Loadable Clubs – Some people don’t like Shot because they have to have a place to keep it and it requires a bit more concentration to change weights. The Plate Loadable Clubs get you around that very easily and work just as well.
- Loadable Maces / Core Club – This is the type of Mace I have owned for several years. This piece looks great and feels even better. Get ready to not only build your Grip but also to improve your shoulder mobility at the same time.
- Monster Mace – If you are looking to really move a lot of weight around, then you want the Monster Mace. Once you start manhandling this piece of beauty around, you will be ready to challenge the Iron Sheik himself.
- Plate Loadable Mace – If you are not into shot-loadable instruments, Ryan Pitts also carries plate-loadable maces which you can use with those extra plates you have sitting around.
- The Starter Mace – If you would like to start out with something a little more manageable, the Starter Mace is perfect.
Those are just a small selection of the variety of Clubs and Maces available from Stronger Grip. Once you go to the links, check out the full spectrum of tools. You can even pick up pairs and sets at a discount!
Club and Mace Swinging Technique
Once you pick up your Clubs and Maces, come back to this page in order to practice your technique.
When it comes to swinging a Club or Mace, you must start out with the basics. If you just stay with the basics, you will be able to readily enjoy and benefit from this type of training. Of course, course there are dozens, if not more, of other ways to swing Clubs and Maces once you master the basic training.
Basic Club Swinging Technique Demonstration
This video shows the beginning techniques for Club Swinging. Take note, that other instructors may use slightly different terminology from what I use. I am not a certified Club training specialist, but I do know how to properly perform the basics of Club swinging.
Basic Mace Swinging technique Demonstration
Just like with Club Swinging, there are many different styles and varieties you can try, but you definitely need to start out with the basics. Below I get you started on the right track, and if you are feeling frisky, after you get some practice, I’ve got a couple of other Advanced Mace Swinging Techniques for you to try as well.
Advanced Mace Swinging with Modified Speed Demand
With this technique, you will attempt to get the Mace moving and keep it going as fast as possible. I chose a total of 20 reps, but you can choose any number you wish. You will see that when you put this speed demand on yourself, in order to keep improving you must focus on your rhythm and strive to get your entire body to work together. Focus on getting as much of the musculature involved as you can in order to make each repetition smooth and fast.
Advanced Mace Swinging with Modified Range of Motion
This variation I liked quite a bit, because it took some of the focus away from the lats and torso and put more of it on the arms, forearms, and hands. My hands were pumped and burning up after trying this.
Once again, start out with the basic maneuvers with your Clubs and Maces and then start adding in slight variations until you are confident and can control the tools throughout the entire range of motion.
I hope you enjoy your Club and Mace training, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.
All the best in your training.
Tags: club, club swinging, club training, indian clubs, mace, mace swinging, mace training, persian clubs
Posted in club swinging, grip strength, hand strength, home made strength equipment, how to buid wrist strength, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to perfrom mace and club swinging, mace swinging | 2 Comments »
Swinging a 20-lb Stronger Grip Mace with Old Glory attached at my Strongman Shows this past summer.
Thank you to all the Veterans who have served our country.
Watch some cool videos on my YouTube Channel. Click the image below:
Strongman Training is a great addition to the athletic strength training program. Check out some of the benefits of Strongman Training:
- Triple Extension – Many Strongman events involve the powerful action of extending the ankles, hips and knees, just like any sport involving leaping, bounding, and other explosive movements from the lower body.
- Grip Strength – Strongman events often use implements that are large and cumbersome to grip, especially Thick Bar Axles, Sandbags, Stones, and other Odd Objects, forcing the athlete to develop strength at the end of the kinetic chain – the hands, wrists and forearms
- Movement Under Tension – Many Strongman events involved carrying implements over a distance. Examples include the Farmer’s Walk, certain Atlas Stone events, Odd Object carries, and the Yoke Walk. It’s one thing to be strong enough to pick something up. It’s another altogether to carry it!
- Absorb and React to Force – Many Strongman events involve multiple repetitions, especially with overhead lifts, like with the Log or Viking Press. This requires the athlete to tolerate the dynamic center of gravity of the implement.
It’s due to all of these benefits, that I hold the Strongest Strength Coach contest each year at Juniata.
I am a firm believer that Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers should be athletic themselves. It makes a huge difference to athletes and clients when they know their coaches and trainers know what they are talking about, so here is a chance to test yourself and be put through the ringer just like they do each workout.
If you are looking to compete at the Strongest Strength Coach Competition, that will be held at Juniata on June 17th, then check out the video below because it shows you exactly how the events will be contested and judged.
It’s also important for people in the position of teach strength and fitness skills to clients and athletes to be able to draw on many different strength backgrounds. It’s not all about throwing around crazy odd objects like logs. That’s why I included lesser seen objects such as the Mace and the Sled Drag in this event. This should be an eye-opening and idea-generating experience for the Strength Coaches at Juniata, for sure.
Finally, I believe that Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers must have a grasp on proper technique before subjecting athletes and clients to complex movements. If you want your athletes to get the obvious benefits in their strength program by doing Strongman lifts, but you don’t know the technique, then sign up for the Early Bird list for the Strongman Training DVD, coming out soon from Diesel Crew and Strongman Stuff!
See you at Juniata!
Tags: farmers walk, log press, mace swinging, strongman log
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, core training workouts, how to improve fitness and conditioning, how to improve grip strength, mace swinging, strongman competition training, strongman training for athletes, strongman training log stone tire farmer | 4 Comments »
Who is the Strongest Strength Coach at Juniata?
Below are the events for the Strongest Strength Coach Event at the 2011 PA Strength and Conditioning Clinic at Juniata College on June 17, 2011.
Log Clean and Press for Reps
The Log will start on the ground, weighing roughly 150-lbs. The coach will pick the log up and clean it to his/her shoulder and from there Press/Push Press/Jerk it to the locked out position overhead for a “GOOD” call. For each subsequent rep, the log should taken back below the waste and then cleaned and pressed again. There will be a one-minute time limit. Points will be awarded for each good Lockout with head through and feet even upon recovery.
Tags: log, log clean and press, log press, mace, mace swinging, macebll, sled drag, sled dragging
Posted in athletic strength training lift odd objects, core workouts for athletes, how to improve fitness and conditioning, strength training to improve athletic performance, strongman training for athletes, strongman training log stone tire farmer | No Comments »
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