How Training Like a Medieval Warrior Can Help Your Workout
This is Your Quick Training Tip, a chance to learn how to work smarter in just a few moments so you can get right to your workout.
No matter how often you switch up your training, workouts can still feel monotonous. Even if you regularly weave in new exercise variations, you’re likely still performing the same fundamental moves with the same basic tools (dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, or bands) in the same ol’ space. Mace training can help change that—and trigger fresh gains to boot.
Onnit Steel Mace
If you’re unfamiliar with the medieval-looking strength tool, it resembles the weapon you’ve seen knights wield in history books and Game of Thrones: A long metal handle with a heavy metal ball at the end. Typically forged in steel, the secret to the mace’s effectiveness isn’t its weight (the heaviest ones are only around 40 pounds), but rather the distribution of that weight, which is concentrated at its head.
As you swing the mace around your body, brandishing it like an ancient warrior in the heat of battle, you’ll quickly realize how hard it is to control. Its uneven weight distribution will force your core to work overtime and challenge all of the smaller stabilizing muscles throughout your body. And because the implement lends itself to dynamic, high-repetition, full-body movements, it’s an extremely efficient tool for building power, mobility, and muscular endurance.
Your move: If you’re lucky enough to belong to a gym that has maces—or savvy enough to have them in your own fitness arsenal—add them to your workouts once or twice a week to start reaping their total-body benefits. You can use them in place of dumbbells to increase instability during classic moves such as the squat and lunge, but the mace really comes alive with rotational and swinging movements.
Need some inspiration? Here are 16 exercises you can do with a mace. Just make sure your grip is solid and you have plenty of space around you—and keep in mind that the closer your hands are to its base, the more challenging the movement will become.
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