Leverage Clubs

One of the favorite exercise tools at Steven Rice Fitness is the leverage club. This is a weighted club used for training the shoulders, arms, and hands.
Traditional Meels from Rosewater Kinetics

Principles and Benefits
Custom Leverage Club
Club Background
Workshops  Next workshop is March 7th. See below!

Principles and Benefits
Double club swinging
Most weights or other forms of strength training resistance put the load directly in the hand. Leverage clubs can have relatively small weight, but create a large resistance from the torque created by the long handle. While most strength training involves moving a weight in a straight line, clubs are swung in arcs, circles, and other curved paths.

Unlike barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells, the resistance can be adjusted by changing the position of your hand, or hands. Since the resistance isn't centered in the hand, the load can never be supported entirely by the hand and arm bones. This makes the leverage club more like many functional and sport activities.

One or two clubs are swung in simple patterns that move the shoulder joint through its full range of motion. Working with one club in two hands, one club in one hand(which may alternate), or two clubs at the same time, provides exercise variety and equipment versatility.

These properties make the leverage club a great complement to other forms of training and sports.

Leverage clubs have numerous benefits and applications. They are excellent for:
  • Developing strength through the full range of motion of the shoulder
  • Increasing shoulder flexibility
  • Increasing shoulder, arm and hand stamina
  • Applying strength in a flowing, circular motion
  • A 25 lb clubbell
  • Heavier clubs provide very good core stability training
Some people who can benefit from leverage club exercise are:
  • 'Overhead' athletes needing to develop shoulder strength and stability, in sports such as tennis and volleyball, and swimming
  • Olympic and power lifters needing to work the shoulders beyond the constraint of a barbell
  • Office workers with posture problems from sitting at a keyboard for too long, to open the front of the shoulders and simultaneously activate and strengthen the posterior shoulders
  • Anyone wanting to add some fun and variety to their workout
A club exercise called a mill, using a custom made club

Custom Leverage Club

High resolution image of the 4 kg leverage club. Length is 23 3/8 inches.

After comparing the available clubs and not quite liking them, I decided to make use of my engineering background and design my own club. The goal was to have an extremely well made club that maintains a consistent size for all weights. The club needed to be long enough to make the leverage more important than the weight, but not so long that two clubs could not be handled at once or the club swung to the ground. The handles are long enough to hold with both hands if desired, and thick enough to grip solidly. The handles have knurling cut into the steel to prevent slipping.

The club was handmade by the experts at Evil Munky Enterprises to the highest standards of machining and welding. The sections are all steel, and are counter-sunk and welded, not threaded, together. Evil Munky(actually more like Friendly Munky) also handles sales of the club. Clubs are available for sale in 4, 8, 12, and 16 kilogram weights, and other sizes by special order.

Club Background
Joris from Rosewater Kinetics
Weighted clubs are traditionally used in India and Persia as training for wrestlers.

The modern version is very similar in both these two cultures. In Persia the clubs are called meels, and in India they are known as jori. The handle accommodates only one hand, and typically the athlete holds two clubs at the same time. The clubs are made of wood, and heavy clubs can get quite large, which limits the variety of exercises possible.

Swinging a mace

A long club with all the weight at the end is known as a gada in India, or mace in English. (Evil Munky also makes maces.) Maces are held with both hands at once.

The English colonists in India brought the idea back to England and America creating the name 'Indian Club'. In contemporary usage, an Indian club is much smaller and lighter than a leverage club, and the exercises are more elaborate.

Clubbells are a brand of metal clubs, and sometimes the term is used generically.

Leverage club workshops are available for beginners. Basic club skills are taught, and participants can immediately begin club exercises on their own.

A 90 minute workshop will be held on Saturday, March 7th, at 9:30 in Palo Alto. The cost is $45 with a $15.00 advance deposit, or $55.00 at the event. Clubs will be provided. Class size is limited to 6 people to provide personal instruction. To register or get more information send an email to info@stevenricefitness.com

No comments: