Tag Archives: mace

Circular Swings with Mace and Indian Clubs

gada maceThe challenge of the mace swings relies upon the uneven weight distribution, which makes it difficult to handle.

The shaft of mace I am using in the video is about 120cm. It has an evident lack of counterbalance with the head weighing 9kg out of the total eight of 11kg. My friend Bo made it for me.

A longer shaft or a heavier head would provide more torque and forces created thorughout the swings.

Exercises with the mace are a bit limited but as always basics are best. You do not have to think so much what you ‘ll be doing with it when you use it :-) The heavy mace complements perfectly the lighter Indian clubs, which require more coordination and mastery.

Personally I enjoy the rhythmical swings, it becomes like a meditative state.

Benefits of Circular Swings with Indian Clubs and Maces

• 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.

Torque creates forces that want to rip the shaft out of your hands and make it fly across the air. Unlike holding a handle, you cannot rely on structural strength ( and strongest fingers) to hold the tool in place. The whole hand get a workout.

• Shoulder Flexibility / Mobility

• Core Training

By the way, 2 days later, my triceps are still really sore. I presume this comes form the eccentric loading as the mace swings down and the elbow s are high up.

The main mace exercise is the one I demonstrate in the video.

If you have good coordination, after some practice with a light weight (use something like small bar or EZ bar) you’ll learn the movement rapidly.

Simply put, the  gada swing, also called 360, is a swing around the head and behind the back initiated by a push over one shoulder, followed by a pull over the opposite shoulder, bringing the mace back to the front of the body. The swing relies on gravity for fluidity and requires bracing your body to act as a counter weight to control the forces and path of the mace.

You’ll be twisting, pulling against centrifugal force, and contorting yourself across multiple planes. Definitely NOT an exercise for people who do not know how to protect their spine, or are new to strength training.

Keeping your hands together at the end of the shaft makes holding the mace vertically a serious grip challenge.

Spreading the hands apart along the shaft allows you to control weight distribution and make the movements easier.

And for the history buffs…

vishnu-bronzeHistorically, the mace has had both strong spiritual and combative connotations in folklore.

Robert L. O’Connell, on page 119 of his book Ride of the Second Horseman: The Birth and Death of War points to the mace as the first weapon made specifically for use against other human beings (as opposed to a modified hunting weapon).

In the Hindu religion, the mace of Vishnu is named “Kaumodaki” and represents the elemental force from which all other powers (both physical and mental) are derived.

Mace-work is associated with the Indian god of strength, Hanuman. Hanuman is traditionally depicted in the form of monkey brandishing a mace, and this Mace is generally understood to symbolize bravery. Hanuman serves to remind the faithful that there is limitless power within each individual. In folklore, Hanuman focused all his energy into the worship of Lord Rama. This devotion freed him from all physical fatigue. 

This brutal kettlebell/Indian club hybrid actually originated in ancient Persia where they were known as “Meels”. These “Meels” were utilized by the Pahlavan (ancient Persian grapplers and strongmen) to increase their strength, endurance, and health. The lighter version generally weighed in the range of ten to fifteen pounds and were used in high rep sets to build stamina while the heavier class weighed from anywhere between twenty-five to sixty pounds and were used to build great strength.” source: scientificwrestling.com



Leave a comment

Filed under Kettlebell training