First off, just admit you said, “What the heck is a mace?”
It’s okay. You’re not alone. I’d bet a majority of readers had the same reaction.
Here’s the answer: A mace is a training tool based on an ancient weapon – the gada – which originated in South Asia. It is long and narrow with a weight at the end. (A form of the gada was also used by wrestlers in ancient India to exercise the arms and shoulders.) Today, maces are enjoying a growing in popularity as exercise tools across the USA and abroad.
Like a mace, a club uses unbalanced weight distribution to challenge the user. But unlike a mace, which has most of its weight on one end, a club distributes its weight more gradually, from the narrow end to the wider end. (Think of a baseball bat with a really stout business end.) Clubs are also typically shorter than maces.
The beauty of these tools is twofold:
1) They’re highly effective from a training standpoint – helping you get strong, and improving your mobility and endurance – and…
2) They’re fun to train with. (What other exercise tool lets you imagine you’re one of 300 Spartans preparing for the Battle of Thermopylae?)
With their unbalanced distribution of weight, maces and clubs are excellent tools for practically any type of training: strength, balance, rotational power, and even rehab. Their uneven weight requires greater muscle engagement during training, forcing the user to control their entire body while the weight is in motion.
In the past, mace training has typically consisted of a few traditional movements. But of late it is evolving, as users push the tool’s limits to see what can be added.
Mace beginners should start by mastering the movements one by one until proper form is achieved. Once a simple exercise is mastered you can make the exercise progressively more difficult by adding weight or more complex movements. Then you can begin stringing these movements into a seamless routine, moving from one to the next.
What you can expect to gain from using these tools:
1. Improved grip strength
2. Strong and healthy shoulders
3. Total body strength and cardiovascular conditioning
4. Rotational core strength
5. A healthier you
In other words, work hard enough with a mace or a club, and eventually you’ll be a weapon yourself.
Anatomy of a Mace
1) The Head or Globe
3) Knurled Grip 1
4) Knurled Grip 2
Part Two of this series will explore the different exercise moves a mace user can utilize.
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