The Mace and Indian Clubs are powerful tools that are rarely seen in gyms today because their use and benefits are widely misunderstood. Replaced machines, they have fallen into disuse and looked at as antiques and quaint reminders of our training legacy. This couldn't be farther from the truth. The Mace and Indian Clubs deserve a place alongside the Kettlebell, Barbell and Dumbbell as legitimate tools in any athlete's training regimen.
The Mace, which is also called the Gada or Ghada, is from a family of one and two handed tools that have been around for centuries, and can be found in many cultures. A unique tool that is often overlooked, the Mace is tremendously powerful in developing grip strength, elbow and shoulder mobility and durability, upper body strength and endurance, and integration and power development throughout the body. Watching a seasoned practitioner manipulate the Mace is mesmerizing, but it does not properly prepare you for the experience of actually using one. Being able to combine mobility, power, integration, and core control are all elements of Mace training. One cannot just manhandle the Mace and expect results. It has a specific set of skills and cues that must be developed before if can be used with any success. Developing these elements can mean the difference between success or failure on the court or in the field.
Indian Clubs, which are not really from India (long story), were a staple in turn-of-the-century gyms here in the United States and around the world. They were so highly regarded that they were standard tools for military personnel, and an Olympic event. Indian Clubs are unique in many ways from other tools that are found in the gym. First, they can be used individually or in pairs. This can allow the athlete to develop skills on each side of the body before trying to use them simultaneously. Second, Indian Clubs can be used to passively add strength and resilience to the shoulders. The results of no other movement can compare to how the shoulders look and feel after an intense session with the Indian Clubs. You will literally feel your shoulders and arms grow each session. Finally, when used to develop a high level of coordination, they are even more powerful in opening and strengthening the shoulders, neck and upper spine. No other tool can match the Indian Clubs in this respect. If you have sore, tight shoulders, restricted movement in your shoulders, or even poor integration in the upper back and shoulders, Indian Clubs will help normalize them.
If you are interested in learning more about the Mace and Indian Clubs there is going to be a five-hour workshop at CrossFit Koncepts on October 29, 2016. For information about the workshop, and how to register, please go to the Mace and Indian Clubs Workshop page.