Thousands of years ago, people could be found swinging various club-like items for physical and mental fitness in preparation for battle (and maybe for a little fun too). Today, club training is still a fixture in the training of wrestlers in both Iran and India.
From ancient Persia, to India, to Europe (including the Victorian era) and around the world, clubs took on many different shapes, sizes and names (Persian Meels, Jori, Indian Clubs) with the purpose of creating strength and agility. The popularization of these tools continues to grow within the US as circular training has become a part of modern movement culture.
Individuals choose to swing various clubs as a means to help people gain strength, move better and feel better. Actually, some have even considered the practice of swinging clubs, a “restorative art”. The practice aims to bring the body into an optimal state of balance to offset the effects of modern life.
Sound like anything else that's preached big here from Original Strength Institute?
How about the Original Strength RESETS! Much like our favorite Original Strength Resets which help us simply tap into our nervous system to restore movement and healthy posture, swinging clubs can also provide a ton of neurological stimulation, feel good vibes, and increase reflexive strength and control.
Clubs can be a bit tricky to get into with their demand of coordination and dexterity. If you’re wanting to jump directly into some of the more advanced and pretty patterns, it’s important to note that the basics are fundamental. The cool thing is, the journey into new skills is incredibly rewarding.
In the soon-to-be-released Clubs, Flow and Rock & Roll program, we introduce a few traditional basic patterns along with some other drills that you can easily implement into your current training regimens. We focus our club practice at the beginning of each training session to help experience the benefits of exploring circular patterns by crossing the mid-line of the body. This crossing of the mid-line (think crossing over your belly button to the opposite side) is a great way to refuel and reset your brain.
Delving beyond the physical, Indian Club extraordinaire, my mentor, Paul Taras Wolkowinski often refers to Indian Club swinging as mental gymnastics.
Fun fact: Indian Club swinging was once an event at the Olympic Games. Contestants performed a routine and were judged much like we now judge gymnastics routines like ribbons.
Even though club swinging has ridden different trend waves and is no longer a very familiar tool in the fitness world, the effectiveness and beauty of the practice remains and we think you should consider giving clubs a solid chance. Indian Clubs are having another resurgence...and my hope is their popularity continues to grow beyond the cultural enthusiast and unconventional training communities.
The mental aspect of circular patterns that are found in swinging clubs are pure perfection and melding it with your key principles of Original Strength (breathe diaphragmatically, stimulate the vestibular system, engage in contralateral movements) takes this practice to the next level.
Indian Clubs will help you experience the benefits of these circular patterns by crossing the mid-line of the body to challenge coordination and dexterity.
It’s intelligent fitness at it’s finest.
This article was written in collaboration with Kelly Manzone of kellymanzone.com aka IG influencer - @kellsbells88 - Long fascinated by Physical Culture, an era identified with its historical tools of strength and skill based modalities, Kelly believes training methods of the past can enrich modern day life. Though working with people from all demographics, Kelly drew inspiration from blending various training modalities and philosophies.
By embracing the concept of being a continual student, Kelly is energized by the process of learning and finds herself more grounded as a coach and educator.
Kelly and friend and OSi co-owner, Dani Almeyda, have been working hard to put out their new program here on OSi Online - Clubs, Flow, and Rock and Roll.