While steel clubs and maces might sound like medieval bludgeoning tools, I can assure you … that, okay, they feel a little medieval, but they’re actually highly functional, modern workout tools!
In fact, the benefits of these primal pieces can’t be understated.
What Are Steel Maces And Clubs?
Different variations of clubs and mace-like tools have existed since the time of prehistoric man. In fact, when you hear “club,” it’s not uncommon to think immediately of a caveman with an ancient club (haha).
The unique weight distribution of clubs and maces allows for more torque – and this more impact power – during a swing. This lead them to be used in some of the earliest battles as standard weaponry AND as a tool to strengthen the body and increase rotational and striking power.
As for the modern versions, both the steel mace and steel club are similar in shape, with the difference being the club is shaped more like a standard club or baseball bat, while the steel mace features a long handle with a weighted ball at the apex.
Each are asymmetrically-weighted, containing more weight at the their tips than at their handles. This design makes both difficult to control and stabilize … which is exactly what you want.
Benefits Of The Club And The Mace
Because of their asymmetrical weight distribution, the steel mace and club offer unique benefits to training that many other pieces don’t.
1. Build Stabilizer Muscles
Beneath and in between your major muscle groups are what are called stabilizer muscles. These muscle are critical for doing exactly as they sound: stabilizing your larger muscle groups and joints.
Why is this important? Because strong stabilizer muscles not only help prevent injury by supporting your joints, but they can also improve your balance, rotational power, and even gains.
The more support your joints, skeletal system, and large muscle groups receive, the more stable you’ll be during lifts, which can assist in better efficiency and power output.
2. Boost Core Strength
The asymmetrical weight of both clubs and maces is also killer for building a solid core. This is because the offset weight creates more of a challenge for your obliques and lower back muscles, which are often neglected during standard “ab” workouts.
When we handle asymmetrical weight, different core muscle groups are engaged to help us keep our balance, especially as the weight moves through different planes (which is easy to do with clubs and maces).
3. Improve Grip
Because clubs and maces are weighted, they aren’t necessarily a piece of cake to handle. When you start swinging them through different planes, you’ll notice your forearms and grip will be heavily challenged, which will help improve stability through other movements that require a strong grip, like pull ups and kettlebell swings.
4. Build Rotational Strength
Rotational strength is something we don’t think about too often; however, it actually plays a role in almost every movement we do.
When we perform one-handed kettlebell swings, or even just walk down the street, our bodies (our core especially) resist forces of rotation. If we didn’t have rotational strength, it would be more difficult to maintain our balance and stability during a variety of movements, including picking things up and putting them down.
Maces and clubs work to increase this rotational strength, so you have an stronger center of stability.
Choosing A Steel Club Or Mace
The mace and club are similar in their effects, with the possibility that a mace may offer even more offset weight than a club. Also, two lighter clubs can also be used for different types of movements than you can make with just one mace, depending on your needs. In general, both are excellent for cutting through all planes of motion around the body. I recommend trying both out and determining which feel you need for your goals.
As far as weight, if you’ve never used a club or mace before or are a beginner athlete, you can obviously start with a lighter weight to condition your body to such new movement patterns. Onnit offers several weight selections below for you to get started:
Grab A Steel Club or Steel Mace from Onnit and get 10% OFF using my code: PRIMAL
The Bottom Line
• Variations of clubs and mace-like tools have existed since the time of prehistoric man
• Due to their asymmetric weight distribution, clubs and maces are epic for building a holistically strong core and stabilizer muscles
• Clubs and maces also increase grip and rotational strength