Benefits of Training with a Steel Mace
What differentiates mace training from other "primal" forms of functional fitness, such
as kettlebell or steel club training, is the mace's highly uneven distribution of weight. The long,
narrow rod serves two purposes:
Variable Grip Options: The long rod makes it easy to change your grip position from
exercise to exercise, altering the difficulty of each movement.
Facilitates Movements That Engage the Core: The longer rod extends the distance
between your body and the weighted end, making it a great tool for swinging, twisting,
and pressing exercises where core engagement and control are critical.
When you incorporate mace bell training into your regular routine, you're
likely to experience the following benefits.
Improved Grip Strength
Grip strength—a combination of hand, finger, and forearm strength—is an often-overlooked
aspect of most fitness programs. But if you think about it, grip strength is fundamental to just
about everything you do.
For instance, rock climbers can't ascend a challenging route without impressive grip strength,
baseball players can't effectively swing a bat without the ability to hang onto and control the
bat's trajectory, and even basic weight training exercises—pull-ups, curls, deadlifts, and
rows—all require grip strength to hold onto the complimentary bar.
Because of the mace bell’s uneven distribution of weight, swinging it requires a strong grip.
Repeated swinging, especially over the course of weeks and months, can increase your grip
strength to considerable level.
Strong and Healthy Shoulders
The shoulder girdle is the least stable joint in the entire body, making it susceptible to injury.
And anyone who's ever experienced shoulder pain can attest that it wreaks havoc on a workout
When you swing a steel mace with the proper form through a full range of motion, you can
increase the strength of the muscles and connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint while
simultaneously increasing your shoulder flexibility.
The key here is proper form. It's a good idea to work with a trainer to master the movement
before starting a routine on your own. You may also want to start with a light mace to ensure
you don't use it incorrectly or place too much stress on your joints.
Total Body Strength and Cardiovascular Conditioning
While the obvious benefit of using a steel mace is upper body strength (including grip strength),
the mace can also be used for total body conditioning. Like a kettlebell, certain mace bell
exercises, such as the climber squat or barbarian squat lend themselves to lower-body strength
Similarly, various mace exercises can drastically increase heart rate for an excellent
cardiovascular benefit. The mace lends itself nicely to high-intensity interval training workouts.
Rotational Core Strength
Many mace bell exercises, such as the steel mace paddle boarding exercise, require cross-
body swinging motions that require extensive core engagement, particularly of the obliques.
This is further amplified by the uneven distribution of weight along the steel mace, which
requires greater core engagement to control. The result is an excellent core and oblique
workout that improves overall core strength.
Static Strength with ligament & tendon conditioning
Also known as yielding isometric exercises where you just hold out the weight in various
positions at different height or distance from your body. There are numerous variants of these
exercises that can be performed with the mace and due to the length of the handle, you would
be extremely challenged to ever max out on most of those if holding the mace closer to the end
of the handle. Some well known examples for developing exceptional shoulder strength are the
“Iron Cross” (lateral) and “Hammer of Thor” (frontal) hold-outs.