While Mace equipment and workout routines may be something you haven’t heard of, they are nothing new. In fact, the Mace dates back to Upper Paleolithic (or Late Stone Age) period. It was primarily used as a weapon. It began to show up as exercise equipment in the 8th century for training warriors in Indian akharas (i.e. combat training gymnasiums).
The Mace (or Gada) is essentially a weight on the end of a shaft. The longer the shaft, the more resistance you’ll encounter. The basic movement (an around the head swing with a push-pull movement) will train the entire upper body. If the weight is too heavy, chocking up on the shaft will reduce the weight dynamics. Conversely, holding the Mace at the bottom will be more difficult to manage and require more upper body strength.
The three key benefits I’ve seen working with this equipment are:
A weak grip will show up on any pulling movement. For example, your pull-up reps will be limited if you have a weak grip. Circular strength improvement will tighten up your core and give you better stability. Additionally, increasing strength in the hands and lower arms will have a major impact on increasing your upper body endurance, allowing you to reach new heights. As I’ve blogged before about the topic of Injury Corrective Strategy (ICS), Mace workouts are excellent for strengthen muscles and connective tissues to help prevent injuries.
The Mace design forces you to use gravity while also working against it due to its lack of counterbalance. The disproportionate weight dramatically increases the difficulty of the movement stressing all the muscles in the hands and forearms. The Mace not only increases your grip strength, but also works your shoulders, arms, and core.
Here is an example of basic exercise movements that I start my clients with:
Having an array of exercises in your “toolbox” will ultimately help you achieve your fitness goals. At Dallas Workout The Gym, we offer personal trainers and a group workshop (Club Bells & Mace Workshop) to learn the basics and incorporate Mace exercises into your workouts.
I encourage you to explore the Mace and find your inner warrior.