Indian Clubs - any experience?

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I finally got a chance to watch my copy of the Dynami DVD with Gray Cook and Brett Jones (a great product - thanks to those who recommended it!) and one of the extra products advertised on the DVD was another DVD by the two of them along with Dr. Ed Thomas called Club Swinging Essentials. I was immediately transfixed by this idea, and couldn't run to my computer fast enough to order it. Now I've watched a few YouTube videos, and I can't wait to try!

Anyone have any experience with Indian Clubs?
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
I haven't got any experience with the clubs yet, I just made a set today and I'm waiting for the concrete to cure. I hope I didn't make them too heavy for a beginner. They weigh about 2 kgs which doesn't sound like much but 2 kgs swung into the back of the head wouldn't be much fun.

I thought they'd be a good way to keep active on the days when I'm not doing any heavy lifting.

I made a Gada a few weeks ago and the clubs just seemed like a natural compliment to it.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
Phil Scarito has hosted a workshop led by Brett Jones and including Dr. Ed Thomas about once a year for the last several years - highly recommended! This past year's and the one before were both in July, if memory serves.

They start with 1 lb. clubs and have 2 lb. clubs as well, and that's about as heavy as one needs to go for the way most people will get the most use out of them. Tarzan, IMHO, the mechanics will change with 2 kg clubs to start. 1 kg is OK - at the workshop I attended, I found 2 lbs. actually worked better for me for some things, but even then, it wasn't early in the day and I had already acquired a few skills.

They are magic at mobilizing your body.

-S-
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
OK. If that's the case I'll knock up another lighter set tomorrow. I was just guessing the weight but they certainly seem heavier than 2 lbs. I wasn't sure if what I had planned would be suitable so I picked up extra broom handles and knobs while I was buying materials.

My 9 year old son seems very interested in them too. We've watched a few videos over the last few days and it's almost hypnotic when someone who's good with them gets into a rhythm with them.

I was thinking something even lighter would be better for him, maybe just a rubber ball on a stick. I want to get him into some sort of training but I'm not too keen on him lifting anything heavy at his age. I'm happy to let him do pulling work and skin the cats etc but I'm not sold on the idea of kids lifting too much.

I can just see it now, he'll be an expert with the clubs in a few days and it will take me weeks or even months to learn how to use them properly.

I've never seen one up close Steve, would you say there is any standard length for them ?

ie If they are approximately forearm length, I could scale one down to around that length for my son so he develops the appropriate rhythm/timing with them.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
1 lb. is the standard size here and my guess is they're OK for your 9-year-old. I just grabbed a 2 lb. club and it goes from elbow pit to the tip of my middle finger in length. I think the 1 lb. clubs are a litter shorter.

-S-
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
Awesome... thanks, guys! I ordered the set of 1lb and 2lb from Perform Better. Can't wait to get started. I'll see what I can learn from the DVD and take it from there.

magic at mobilizing your body
... :)

I emailed Phil Scartino to get on the update list for the workshop. A few words from his web site: "There is something unique about training with Indian Clubs. It’s not about just swinging them, it’s more about precision and uniformity. Indian Clubs force you to use your brain; the discipline is neural in nature. And just like Kettlebells, they will teach you how to move better."
http://www.dv8fitness.com/training/75-indian-clubs/221-indian-clubs
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
I made a lighter set for my boy today, they were just pieces of broomstick with some oversized knobs made for curtain rods screwed into the ends.

He played with them for about 20 minutes and with some minor corrections on his symmetry he really had it going on.

He went that well with them I decided to buy a few real ones for him and myself. They were really cheap, an ebay seller was selling them as "calisthenic sticks"

Here's one of the videos that got him and myself interested.
 

J Petersen

SFG1/SFB
Certified Instructor
I've begun the club swinging journey myself not too long ago (courtesy of the Club Swinging Essentials book/DVD). While I haven't yet formed any strong opinions about them, I can tell that there is something there that will come after putting in the time and reps. Following RotKB at the moment, and putting them to use on the days in between press dates during the grind blocks. I have both one pound and two pound sets, and I frankly don't see the need to work heavier right now--the twos are kicking my butt enough as it is.

I have also been incorporating them as a sort of cool down ritual for my most advanced trainee after her clean and press ladders. Reminding her constantly that I'm still learning these myself, but doing my best to coach her through the first movements--she seems to have had a genuine "a-ha" moment just yesterday when she made double clubs flow.
 

Northern Kettlebells

Triple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
I'd definitely recommend Indian clubs. They really improved my shoulder mobility a few years ago.
I use them on and off now, but my training log is full of comments like this:
"Shoulders feel tight lately I don't know why. Ah! I stopped using the clubs"
6 months later. ..
"I don't know why my shoulders are tight. Ah! I stopped using clubs"

I seem to keep making this silly mistake. What was it that Einstein said about making the same mistakes!
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I got my Indian Clubs and DVDs yesterday, and I love them already!! :)

This will definitely become a regular practice for me. I hope it makes my shoulders happy...
 

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
My "calisthenics sticks" arrived today, they are like oversized pretzels with handles on them. They are around the right length but they are really narrow and weigh almost nothing.

I'd be ashamed to be seen swinging them around in the park, I may as well prance around with a ribbon on a stick.

I can't find any clubs at a reasonable here and shipping them from OS makes that unreasonable too. I found a few fish bats on ebay for $20 each which look like miniature baseball bats and are about the right length, I might try a few of those.
 

krg

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Tarzan - you based in Oz?

There are quite a few antique clubs at a reasonable price in the UK on ebay in the 1-3 lb weight range. As they were frequently used in the military in Victorian era then there may well be some scattered about the far flung corners of ex-GB empire. It would be worth trawling ebay on a regular basis (think I used Indian clubs and exercise clubs and wooden clubs as search terms).

Just waiting for a pair to arrive myself, that video you posted looked great and I wanted to give them a go. Thought it worth trying to add a bit of graceful movement into my life.

I'll check out the web link to the tutorials mentioned above - this feels like an exercise you could have a lot of fun becoming proficient at.
 
Last edited:

Tarzan

More than 500 posts
Yeah Krg, I'm in Oz

I've been keeping my eye on ebay, I'm sure something will come up. Sometimes the older ones are advertised as antique juggling pins. I have used the calisthenics sticks to get the movement worked out. It's a steep learning curve but it's fun when you get a few basic patterns worked out and get into a rhythm with them.

This guy (Paul Wolkowinski) has a website that is good resource on them. He's 65 and they seem to keep him young. He can swing a heavy gada/mace better than I can too.
http://www.indianclubs.com.au/indianclubs/indian-club-tutorials/
 

krg

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Got my antique clubs over the weekend - they weigh about a kilo each and they are a thing of beauty.
Some kind of lovely old, dark smooth hardwood stamped with 'Ogden and Smith, Clapham Junction'. Just playing with learning the movements from an old leaflet you can find for free on the web 'Simple Indian Club Exercises' by Staff Sergeant Moss.

Really interesting trying to learn a new pattern of movement.

Just doing it for five minutes in the mornings and evenings at the moment, going slow and trying to learn the movements am now feeling in awe of the guy in the video posted above - two clubs at once is enough to fry my brain at the moment - feel a nice residual tingle in the shoulders afterwards. A kilo feels heavy enough for me.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
@krg, a kilo is a good size. At the workshop I attended here, we started with 1 lb. clubs but I found that 2 lb. clubs actually worked better for me - I could get a slightly bigger range of motion. For an untrained person, a kilo might be too heavy but it's likely perfect for you.

I'd stick with one club at a time until you feel you're ready for doubles.

-S-
 

Baker

Triple-Digit Post Count
My physical therapist introduced me to Indian Clubs when I was rehabbing from a torn biceps tendon. I use 1 pounders in my warm ups. They are a great tool for shoulder mobility.
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I am only practicing 5-10 minutes a day, but rapidly improving. I practice the movement slowly, then all of a sudden I can speed them up and everything FLOWS. My shoulders seem to be liking this. I think as I add more time to the practice they will like it more. Sometimes I do it before kettlebell as a warmup, sometimes just after, and sometimes a different time in the day. All seem to be beneficial. Really nice companion to kettlebells, are the Indian Clubs.
 

Will Moore

Triple-Digit Post Count
Glad to read about Indian Clubs here. Indian clubs are on our short list. This month is a 10lb mace. So, the clubs are up next. Subscribed to watch this thread. Many thanks!
 
Last edited:

23rdwave

Triple-Digit Post Count
I started back up with the 1lb clubs today after having used them a bit last spring, alternating with fast and loose drills in between push up and pull up sets and as a warm up and cool down.

Today I did 20:00 of five different movements done forwards and backwards. It's always nice when you get into a rhythm.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom