“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
My passion for Indian clubs started at the beginning of 2011 when a friend of mine introduced them to me to regain full mobility in my shoulder as I had injured it the year before. Not only did the clubs help me sort out my shoulder, but they really intrigued my interest. As soon as I have done the first few moves with them (I felt “success” straightaway as I did not hit my head or anything else with them. Good start is always important…), I immediately knew they were “IT”. The clubs opened up a whole new world of exercises that I never thought of being possible. They gave a completely new dimension and meaning to exercises and as to how to preserve, maintain and restore healthy and functional body. I felt I had found purpose and embarked on my journey.
Although the characteristics of the equipment resemble the shape of a club such as used by Hercules, they are definitely not a weapon, furthermore the aim is to avoid thrashing them, let alone hitting body parts (or anything else). I refer to the exercises performed with clubs as “wielding”, simply because it is exactly what you do with them: hold and use, manoeuvre, handle, operate with them in a choreographed and aesthetically pleasing manner, more often than not connecting one or more moves into a flowing continuous sequences. The movement patterns are “blended together” to make up uninterrupted and flowing exercise sequences – it never is obvious when one “part” finishes and another one starts.
Having used Indian clubs for many years now myself and with clients with great success I can confidently state that (to my current knowledge) Indian clubs are the most versatile exercise tool out there. Not only the broadness of their use vary from sports specific exercises to injury rehabilitation, but also the variety of exercises/movement sequences with the clubs is unparalleled – only imagination could be the limit. Indian clubs are also extremely practical as skills learnt with them can be straightaway implemented for anything you choose it for, whether it is your hobby, beloved sport, general activity in life, etc.
Sport professionals and enthusiasts are constantly on a lookout for something unique, the latest “big thing” that traditional methods provided by the modern gym equipment – dumbbells and machines – cannot offer. Well, the exercises with Indian clubs emulate many sports specific movements and perfectly complement sports people requirements in terms of performance. Practicing and mastering movements with this equipment will help finesse the technique used in sports such as: golf, swimming, tennis, squash, cricket, baseball, gymnastics, hockey, basketball, volleyball, handball, fencing, bowling, archery, rugby, wrestling, martial arts. It is evident from the list above that Indian clubs are ideal for disciplines that involve eye-hand coordination, require the most sophisticated and complex manoeuvring with the arms gracefully, require achieving massive range of motion with forces applied to the surrounding structures either holding a tool (i.e racket or bat) in the hand and hitting an object with it or throwing an object.
Wielding (I use this verb to express the handling and manoeuvring with the clubs in a choreographed and synchronised manner) Indian clubs on a regular basis is also very beneficial – not only it challenges the body, it stimulates the mind too and vice versa. More directly it tends to strengthen and evenly develop the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) of the arms and torso/trunk, expand the chest (thus producing deeper respiration), brace the shoulders and straighten the spinal column. In contrary to the general and common belief that Indian clubs were aimed at exercising the upper body and arms, by incorporating the lower limps, using them such way becomes a full body workout (and “work-in” – wielding the clubs stimulates many systems in the body, promotes appetite and digestion by speeding up blood circulation, helps the lymphatic system dispose of waste material, while by dispelling nervous excitement it invites continuous and refreshing sleep.)
I believe that never before was it more important, relevant, appropriate and suitable to use Indian clubs on a regular basis than in the current day and age. The application and “built in” qualities (unique weight distribution with centre of the mass being far away from the hand, thus creating lever and constant gentle pull) make them superior to any other contemporary fitness equipment and essential to deal with the detrimental effects of the modern times on the body (and I must add the mind too). The contemporary lifestyle, modern workplace requirements mean that our bodies lack movement, muscles tense up, joints stiffen up and as a result alignment and posture gets worse and as a consequence blood flow gets limited, breathing irregular and shallow (as chest cavity will be smaller due to the “collapse” of the ribcage), vital organ function will be restricted, etc. It also creates tensions and restriction in the upper body (shoulder and neck region) which gets aggravated by stress (unfortunately stress is part of life either at work or at home). These issues should be combatted and dealt with as when they escalate they could cause all sort of health problems (due to which people often miss valuable days at work) and Indian clubs are the ideal tool to do so.
It is of paramount importance to be “tuned in” when exercising with Indian clubs, also mainly to be able to perform the exercises to the standard required with precision and smoothness, to gain full benefits from it. These are:
- Improving mobility
- Increasing range of motion of joints
- “Freeing up” and lubricating joints evenly
- Evenly developing the musculature (surrounding joints)
- Increasing flexibility / optimising muscle length
- Improving coordination, timing and rhythm
- Improving proprioception (spatial awareness)
- Improving interoception (“inner” awareness)
- Enhancing Psychomotor control (relationship between cognitive functions and physical movement), creating new neuromuscular pathways, promoting “synchronicity”
- Increasing (functional) strength
- Boosting concentration and focus
- Helping to eliminate aches, pains and discomforts
- Relieving/reducing tension and stiffness
- Improving agility / developing dexterity
- Improving posture / body alignment
- Developing optimum biomechanical efficiency / re-training (re-educating) the neuromuscular system
- Creating and learning new neuromuscular pathways
- Stimulating fresh blood flow
- Aiding lymphatic drainage
- Increasing cardiovascular fitness
- Enhancing sports performance (speed, power)
- Helping to maintain healthy Autonomic Nervous System function (fight of flight response) through positively influencing and maintaining mobility of the spine
- Improving thoracic spine function
- Promoting imbibition (“feeding” the intervertebral discs)
Exercising with Indian clubs is a very gentle form of exercise routine, thus suitable for any age groups, ranging from children aged 10 onwards to elderly and frail people provided they do not have a severe musculoskeletal injury or recovering from a serious surgery. I genuinely believe Indian clubs could be the solution for sorting out many health-related problems and lifting the standard and increasing performance in many sports…
As the above information is only a drop in the ocean about this wonderfull exercise tool, I would be delighted to share further details about it with you, please call me on 07758 868 636 for more details. Look forward to hearing from and speaking with you.