The Steel Club – The Best Training Tool You’re Not Using
Steel Club training is rapidly re-gaining popularity. If you are into unconventional training, you probably already know about them, but in case you don’t, here is what you can expect to gain by adding Steel Club exercises into your current routine.
First off, let’s discuss the club itself. The weight is displaced far from the athlete’s hand making it a bit awkward for first timers to get the feel for it right away.
This in and of itself requires a certain level of skill development, thus working muscles that you normally might not have in conventional training.
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When the club is swung, the weight of itself and the speed at which it is swung will develop a rotational force known as torque.
Swinging a dumbbell or a kettlebell also produces torque, but not to the effect that a steel club can, due to the club’s handle length.
To put it into perspective a 25lb club will generate over 700lbs of torque. That’s more torque than most car engines have. Torque is the ‘magic’ that is produced while training with a steel club.
The torque will traction out or open up joints such as the wrist, elbow and shoulder. Shoulder health alone is probably the best reason to train with a steel club.
This “tractioning” allows the joints to decompress and let in fresh blood to these areas. This is very beneficial for people who’ve been training with weights for a while as their joints have compressed.
The Steel Club has a fantastic history. Touted as the oldest fitness tool, one can only imagine a cave dwelling ancestor of ours using a tree branch as a weapon or hunting tool. The version of the steel club we know have been around for over 2000 years.
Warrior’s have carried them in battle for centuries. Gladiators fought each other with them. As time went on and bronze and iron were utilized and steel clubs were used to train soldiers as a way to develop strength for swordsmanship.
Many of the club movements are derived from sword and shield combatives as exercise. The British, Indian, Austrailian, and US militaries used club training for their soldiers until the beginning of World War II.
They then fell into obscurity until the late 1990’s. Of course the typical steel club of
today is predominantly made from metal, although wooden “Indian Clubs” are still available.
The Steel club has fostered the use of heavier clubs which typically range from 15lbs and upward. The increase size makes steel clubs great for lower body exercises such as squats and front swings.
Doing a squat with a heavy steel club won’t compress the spine like a barbell and engages the entire body.
Front swings performed much the way a kettlebell swing is done, offers a great alternative to deadlifting. An athlete who uses a red 32kg/70lb kettlebell may find it a challenge to use a 45lb steel club for the same exercise.
The Steel Club fosters a higher level of athleticism. Most weightlifting is performed by lifting the weight in a straight line. Other areas like Olympic lifts also use limited movement patterns due to their technical nature.
Steel Clubs are a different animal because of the wide range of full body movement that can be used.
Though there are basic exercises which are fairly simple, most steel club enthusiasts strive for the more complex rotational exercises which incorporate swinging the steel club in 1 or more circles for each repetition.
Add to that coordinating the less dominant hand, foot, or body side and the beginnings of bilateral development have begun.
Strength is also a product of steel club training. Many athletes train almost exclusively with steel clubs for both strength and rotational power. Athletes such as fighters, wrestlers, and boxers greatly benefit from incorporating the use of clubs.
Steel Club training added into a strength or power program can also provide added recovery benefits by flushing the worked muscles with fresh blood after a heavy training session.
Steel Clubs are exceptional for the development of the injury plagued rotator cuff muscles and essential to their rehabilitation after injuries. Any age athlete can benefit from steel club training, from as young as 4 years old to 100+.
Steel Clubs are low impact, restorative, and get us back to basic movements, which our bodies crave. Full range movement is largely absent most people’s daily lives, so adding steel clubs to a program can be a simple and effective way to get the body moving.
Let’s not forget that swinging a heavy war tool can be very therapeutic and speak the inner warrior inside of us.
Want to learn more about steel club training? Check out AdexClub.com
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