It’s been about 6 weeks since Steve Maxwell completed his two workshops in traditional club swinging at the StrengthBox. It was wonderful to work with Coach Maxwell, and on a personal level I got to know him quite well during his recent stay in Toronto. I have a feeling he will return!
The clubs have always intrigued me. I was first introduced to them via the Orange Kettlebell Club (OKC) clinics that we hosted last year. While OKC focused on joint mobility and shoulder health (and the lighter clubs are perfect for that), Steve gave us a feel for using heavier clubs – which are perfect for strength and for conditioning.
Clubs are unique in that they move in space through all the planes in which the body can move. You can do a lot with a single club, and by shifting the choke (where you grip) from the end by the knob to further up the neck, a person can add volume or handle a seemingly heavy weight. And I guess there’s something fairly primitive about swinging a heavy club around … it just makes you want to yell “Bamm Bamm!”
The class worked mostly with clubs ranging from 5 to 15 pounds. That may not seem like a lot of weight, until you pick one up with zero choke. You quickly realize that a 10 pound club is NOT like a 10 pound dummbell. We also had a few heavier clubs (25 and 35 pounds) to experiment with. I found the latter particularly useful for two-handed work.
One of the exercises we dubbed the “spear chucker”, because it simulates throwing something fairly heavy overhand from the shoulder. Coach had us practice this move continually for 5 minutes, changing sides as often as we liked — and while it was challenging, it made the shoulders feel amazing afterwards. No other tool in an indoor gym environment mimics throwing quite as well as the club, another reason why it’s such a great piece of equipment.
I feel confident that we can bring Steve Maxwell back to the Box to learn more. Both his joint mobility and club workshops got fantastic reviews, and I can personally vouch for the quality of his Kettlebell Certification Course. Here’s to learning more!
Check out the video below.