The Art of Swinging

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The Art of Swinging

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Tricked you! Sorry we tried to resist but couldn't. This article isn't a set of tips around the etiquette of middle class Britains' favourite, underground past time. We will say, it's always wise to have a safe word.

Of course, we're talking Indian Clubs with Mo Power, much more relevant to your continued evolution down the path of fitness well being and enlightenment. Take it away Mo:

The use of Indian clubs has regained popularity in the West in the past decade, BUT it is not a new phenomenon.  There is evidence to suggest that their use dates back around 5000 years. The origins can be debated but the benefits are endless. They were originally used by soldiers and wrestlers to strengthen their arms and torso in preparation for battle. Traditionally, Indian clubs were made out of wood and some were decorated with ornate painted designs and they still are in some cases but nowadays you’ll also find them made out of iron, such as the ones made by the famous blacksmith Stanley Pike (

To develop strength, modern athletes use heavy resistance. This is accomplished by utilising pushing and pulling movements such as the squat (pushing) and the deadlift (pulling). When an athlete lifts weights they tend to lift them in straight lines, HOWEVER, the body actually moves in multiple planes such as sagittal, frontal and transverse planes. This is especially true of the shoulder girdle which is a ball and socket joint. Think of how many different directions you can move your arm and how few of them you can reach with weights alone. With the shoulder girdle being one of the most movable joints, it is also one of the most fragile and therefore very susceptible to injury. Therefore, the shoulder joints needs to be trained in multiple planes which is where the Indian clubs are of enormous benefit.

Indian clubs provide ways of stretching and strengthening the shoulder girdle, gaining or regaining shoulder mobility, increased blood flow and a general adaptation of the muscles and connective tissues involved. The use of Indian clubs develop grip and forearm strength/endurance, which is important for grappling sports such as judo, wrestling, mma and so on. Additionally, when the shoulder girdle is made stronger, aligned and more mobile, other joints such as the elbow and wrist also benefit. In addition, Indian clubs will develop core strength as the swinging motion requires you to engage the core muscles in order to stabilise the trunk.

The weight of the clubs used needs to be relatively light around 1kg to 2kg. Don’t forget we’re working in a circular motion. The movements are easy to learn, and just require a few minutes of swinging the clubs. If you're keen to learn some basics then this video is an excellent starting point:

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