An Introduction to Indian Club Training

by Brett & Kate McKay on March 18, 2012 · 84 comments

in Fitness, Health & Sports

I’m always looking for new exercises to throw into my workout routine. Recently, I’ve gotten into a training method used by ancient Persian wrestlers, Victorian gentlemen, and even members of the Band of Brothers. It’s called Indian club training. You’ve probably seen people exercising with Indian clubs in old photos. Or maybe in this episode of The Simpsons. It consists of swinging weighted clubs in different and sometimes elaborate movements in order to strengthen and increase mobility in your upper body.

I’ve had a blast since giving Indian clubs a whirl and have seen my mobility in my shoulders improve as well. Below I highlight the history and benefits of Indian club training and demonstrate a few exercises to help you get started with swinging clubs.

A Brief History of Indian Clubs

Indian Pehlwani wrestler using clubs to exercise.

The practice of using clubs as a fitness tool started with ancient Persian Pehlwani wrestlers or Pehlwans. To prepare for competition and battle and to strengthen their arms and torsos, Pehlwans would swing large, modified war clubs. Pehlwani-style grappling, along with the idea of training with clubs, spread throughout Iran, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

In the 19th century, British soldiers stationed in India picked up on the club swinging exercises performed by Pehlwani wrestlers and brought the practice back to England. They modified the clubs a bit to look more like modern-day bowling pins and called them “Indian Clubs.” Indian club training became wildly popular during the Victorian physical culture craze of the mid-19th century and spread throughout Europe. Soldiers and even women and children took up the exercise with gusto.

Illustration from The Indian Club Exercise, by Sam Kehoe, 1866

“Sometime during A-stage we were deep into a set of “Indian clubs” when my eyes got blurry. Indian clubs were a popular exercise device of the era. They were shaped like bowling pins and weighted at the ends. They loosened and strengthened your arms and shoulders and could be deceptively strenuous. We swung them around in various patterns until we nearly keeled over–we did them so long the clubs felt almost hypnotic after awhile.” – Buck Compton on basic training at Camp Toccoa, from Call of Duty: My Life Before, During and After the Band of Brothers

Indian club training came to the United States by way of German immigrants in the middle of the 19th century. Several popular physical culture enthusiasts evangelized for the myriad of benefits Indian club training offered and found a receptive audience in the American public.  The U.S. Army included Indian club exercises as part of soldiers’ physical fitness routines during basic training in WWI. School children often took part in large, choreographed Indian club routines not so much for physical fitness, but rather for show. Turn of the century athletes were so nuts for swinging Indian clubs that it even became an official sport at the 1904 Olympics.

Indian clubs continued to be used in both gymnasiums and military boot camps into the 1930s, but waned in popularity mid-century as other pastimes like basketball, baseball, and football captured the public’s attention. But in the past decade, Indian club training has experienced a revival, especially among martial artists who find the shoulder-strengthening benefits of Indian club swinging to be particularly useful.

The Benefits of Indian Club Training

Shoulder strength and flexibility. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of Indian club training. As you know, your shoulder sits in a socket and has a wide range of motion. Unfortunately, most strength training exercises that target the shoulders, like the shoulder press, employ a very limited range of movement. Indian club training ensures you work your shoulders using their full range of motion, thus providing more complete shoulder strength and flexibility. If you’re involved in any sport that requires strong, flexible shoulders (and elbows too) like baseball, martial arts, and tennis, you’ll definitely benefit from Indian club training.

Grip and forearm strength. I was surprised how quickly my forearms began to burn when I first started swinging clubs. Holding a weight that’s at the end of a handle requires ample forearm strength. Also, holding onto the clubs so they don’t go flying out of your hands mid-swing helps you build a grip like a vise.

Core strength. The swinging motion requires you to engage your core muscles in order to stabilize your trunk.

Body coordination. Some of the more advanced Indian club swings require highly developed body coordination skills. I feel like a complete spaz doing some of them and have knocked myself in the brain canister a few times as I’ve learned new movements. But I’ve gotten better with practice. In fact, the body coordination benefits were a big reason why the U.S. Army had soldiers train with Indian clubs. According to the 1914 U.S. Army Manual of Physical Training: “The effect of these exercises, when performed with light clubs, is chiefly a neural one, hence they are primary factors in the development of grace and coordination and rhythm.” So not only are you working your shoulder muscles, you’re working the old noodle, too.

Cardiovascular exercise. Once you have a set of moves mastered, you can create a non-stop routine where you transition from exercise to exercise quickly. All that arm flailing can really get your heart going.

Great for rehab and prehab. If you’re nursing an injured shoulder or other upper body muscle, performing slow and controlled Indian club exercises are a great way to rehab. And many therapists recommend Indian club training as a way to “prehab” or prevent injuries from happening in the first place.

It’s fun! I like training with Indian clubs because it’s really quite fun. The challenge of mastering the various swings serves as motivation to keep working with the clubs. I always feel great when I finally get the hang of a new movement.

Getting Started with Indian Clubs

Buy the clubs. You can find Indian clubs on Amazon or other fitness supply stores. I bought this pair of clubs myself. They’re a bit pricey, but they’re handmade in the U.S. from pure maple. When I’m not using them, they actually look kind of nice standing in my living room. When purchasing your clubs, keep in mind that a weighted club feels way heavier than the same weight in another form. When I was choosing which clubs to buy, I imagined the 3-lb dumbbells at the gym–the ones only the elderly and infirm use–and thought, “Pffft,  hefting 3-lb clubs will be a breeze!” Boy, was I wrong; I’m in relatively good shape, but I found the three pound set pretty tough to work with. I probably should have gone with the two pound set. I recommend starting off with the lightest set possible and working your way up.

Find a place with plenty of space. You’ll need enough room to fully swing your arms and clubs in all directions. Make sure you don’t have any stray toddlers walking into your swinging space. Also, avoid places with televisions and windows. You don’t want to break anything with an accidental flying club.

Learn some movements. If you’re looking for old-school, Indian club movements, you can’t go wrong with the book The Indian Club Exercise by Sam D. Kehoe. It was written in 1866 and contains 20 different diagrammed movements. It takes awhile to decipher the diagrams sometimes, and some of them still have me scratching my head a little, but several will make sense immediately.

Below I’ve included a video of me making a fool of myself showcasing a few basic Indian club exercises. Enjoy:

Do you have any experience with Indian club training? Share your tips with us.

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carlos Mora March 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Can’t wait to try this

2 Joe Bassett March 18, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I don’t have any personal experience with Indian Clubs, but my grandmother’s use of Indian Clubs is the stuff of family legend. Rare is the family reunion when talk doesn’t turn to Thelma and her twirling Indian Clubs while singing hymns…fond memories.

3 Antonio Centeno March 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Brett – Love the video, great job bud! I agree with the making it fun point – I often get so into the mechanics of exercising that I forget that there are so many different ways to achieve the desired results (strength, health, fat loss).

R/S

Antonio

4 B.S. March 18, 2012 at 9:07 pm

For those of us currently limited by finances, might we achieve the same effect with baseball bats?

5 Patrick March 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm

It’s no secret that Indian clubs are the precursor to the modern juggling club. But what a lot of folks don’t realize is there are still a lot of jugglers who continue to practice this form of manipulation, swinging two clubs instead of juggling three. I do a bit of it myself. It’s done with much lighter, usually hollow plastic clubs. But I’ll tell you what: after 30 minutes of practice, my shoulders are burning. I’ve always wondered about moving to some real Indian club practice, but I’ve never made the jump. Might have to give it a go after seeing this.

6 Tizzle March 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I just ordered a set of those maple 3 lb ones.

7 Magnus March 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I first tried this out when I discovered several pairs of such clubs that my great grandfather used to train with.
I try and mix club training with other forms of weight and resistance training, and I’ve found it very useful. It is by far the most comprehensive form of strength training for the upper body.

8 Ed Hunt March 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I have my grandfather’s indian clubs (he was born in 1889) Great to finally have some routines to put them to use!

9 Hunter March 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Where did you get those pants, Brett? I am digging them.

10 Andrew Barbour March 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Dig that old-timey footage of Freddie Mercury exercising.

11 Stan P. March 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Indian Clubs are awesome. I have been using one pounders for 2 years and absolutely love it!

12 Brett McKay March 19, 2012 at 12:04 am

@Hunter-
These wool tights. I like ‘em for running in the winter.

13 Ram March 19, 2012 at 1:34 am

I am from India, and I should say, to get great shoulders, this is the exercise to add in your routine. It gives a great workout to your shoulders & works big time!

14 Rafael L. March 19, 2012 at 2:56 am

This is seriously awesome. I’ve been training in muay thai and jiu jitsu for a little while and my legs are definitely stronger than my upper body, so I’ve been trying to find something that will strengthen and not compromise flexibility. Problem solved.

15 Stephen B March 19, 2012 at 4:06 am

HA!! I just Picked up a pair of these from the guy that makes the Revolution Clubs at Fechtschule America 2012 ,an international historical swordsmanship event. Its awesome that art of manliness posted an article on the same day I picked up a new training tool. You guys rock.

16 Michael D. March 19, 2012 at 4:51 am

The book is also available in Kindle format for $2.95. A bit easier to read than the website scanned version. As far as I can tell, all the pictures are there.

Loved the old time video, by the way!

Note: It looks like the author’s name is actually “Sim”, not “Sam”.

17 Eralp March 19, 2012 at 5:26 am

Brilliant video! And thank you for the wide range of other brilliant material you are providing for the manly folk around the world.
Cheers!
Eralp

18 Smite March 19, 2012 at 6:34 am

Or one could double the benefit by training a Filipino martial art such as Modern Arnis, or escrima. Both mainly utilize double stick training. You’ll get all the benefits of the Indian Clubs plus the addition of self-defense training.

19 Dirk-Jan March 19, 2012 at 6:38 am

Would these exercises have a positive effect on the ligaments in one’s shoulder after it’s been dislocated?

20 Spatch March 19, 2012 at 7:24 am

How did I only just find out about this, I have always wanted to beat someone up while strengthening my forearms at the same time

21 Patrick F Mwanje March 19, 2012 at 8:35 am

I do realize that the Indian Club Training is much safer and easily adopted. It make every part of the body respond.

22 Doc March 19, 2012 at 9:11 am

Might suggest if you buy some clubs to purchase from Perform Better or Dragon Door and get the Dr. Ed Thomas Dvd that comes with them. He is an excellent instructor and demonstrates the moves much better than the books showing the circles. I have two of the old instruction books and many of the moves are a little cumbersome to figure out. I’ve used these myself and resolved shoulder issues and also use them with baseball players with great success.

23 Dave March 19, 2012 at 9:26 am

I first started using the heavy clubbells that Scott Sonnon sells about two years ago. Last month I attended a seminar, where Brett Jones, RKC, spoke. His topic was the light Indian clubs. I was extremely impressed and bought a pair of 2 pounders. I use them everyday as part of my prehab and warmup. They are great tools for increasing shoulder mobility and opening up the chest. Once I’ve achieved a better level of mastery I intend to start teaching more of these movements to my personal training clients.

24 Chase Christy March 19, 2012 at 9:35 am

I haven’t tried this specifically, but I did some kettle ball stuff last fall when I was into cross fit. Anytime you are swinging stuff around away from your body, it is a tough workout. My only advice is that if you start to feel your grip go, take a break. A break in your workout is better than breaking someone’s face.

25 Mark Brandyberry March 19, 2012 at 9:46 am

Indian clubs make nice cross training for foil fencing. The clubs relax the shoulders and gently lengthen the arms. Recommended.

26 Jim Collins March 19, 2012 at 9:47 am

Esteemed Brett and Kay McKay,

When I was in Junior High School in Seattle, circa 1967, there were Indian Clubs hanging in a locked rack in the gym; I wondered what happened to the bowling alley. Later, a retired teacher from the school told me that they had to stop using them because too many kids had hit other kids with them. Extrapolating from this story describes most of my education in public schools.

I was reintroduced to Indian Clubs in France when I was bicycle racing. They were a wonderful antidote to the more restricted upper body motion of cycling and they facilitated the infrequent but critical tasks of gabbing musettes at feeding stations. The also made it much less likely that we would sustain upper body injuries in crashes.

Regards,

Jim Collins, Ph.D.
Department of Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry
Indiana University, Bloomington

27 Ian March 19, 2012 at 10:26 am

DO WANT! My shoulders need work as is. Thanks for this!

28 Tommy Lewis March 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

It’s awesome to finally see clubs on the site, I’ve been Dr. Thomas’ student and teaching assistant for about 7 years and we’ve been following your site since you posted the story about the WWII standards in physical readiness. If you want to learn clubs, walk onto campus here at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa and come by the gym, we teach them almost everyday. The second best place is one of Brett Jones’ CICS classes. We taught at the first one and since then Brett’s only gotten better at what he does.

Thanks a lot and keep up the Site,
KCCO
Tommy Lewis

29 Matthew March 19, 2012 at 10:52 am

This looks like fun! I think I’ll give it a shot, too. I have a three pound sledge that I like to “flip” as inspired by Neal Cassady (http://www.intrepidtrips.com/pranksters/neal/neal2.html), and you’re right … Three pounds gets heavy FAST!

As an aside, you are looking a great deal like a young Hemingway these days … Especially in your LinkedIn photo!

Thanks,
Another refugee of the legal profession

30 DAN March 19, 2012 at 10:57 am

Hmmm I may have to try this. I was wondering what kind of Indian was being talking about. Very interesting.

31 Jon March 19, 2012 at 10:58 am

(Head nod)

Brett and Kate,

Interesting article, but the video is priceless!

(Head nod)

32 Change IP March 19, 2012 at 10:59 am

The fact that we can learn how to use them from a book written in 1866 increases my interest. It sure looks like it beats endless reps of bench press.

33 Rachel March 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

Great article and video! I love the turn-of-the-century attire. Very instructive! Also can’t help but notice he looks very fit and manly – not many gents can look manly in tights!

34 Tyler Haas March 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

This looks awesome! I love workout material that keeps my bdy guessing. I’m doing Muay Thai and BJJ right now and my shoulders are the first thing to wear out despite focusing on them during workouts. I’ll add this into my bag of tricks and see what happens. Thanks Brett! Maybe not start with the 3 lbs though…

35 Robin March 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Just yesterday I was searching the website for an article on Indian clubs.
I am going to aim for heavy clubs (Persian Clubs). Perhaps there is a gentleman with experience who could write a thing or two about it. (?)

36 John Sifferman March 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I’ve used Indian clubs a few times, but never got into them as seriously as with clubbells. I found that for strength training purposes, the lighter/smaller Indian clubs were too light to create a substantial training effect, and thus, adaptation. On the flip side, the heavier Indian clubs are quite bulky, which severely limits the exercise selection. I found a happy medium in clubbells which offer heavy weights in a compact package, and I consider them a superior strength training tool. That said, I think Indian clubs are great for advanced shoulder/elbow/wrist mobility and strengthening drills, and do eclipse the clubbell in a few unique ways. All tools have their place!

37 Sax March 19, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I’ve had nagging injuries to both of my A-C joints for several years, now. After several injections on both sides, I’m trying to avoid surgery. Does anyone have any A-C joint rehab experience with these? I’d like to hear a little more about that before plunking down a hundred bucks. Thanks!

38 Wesley March 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm

That was a truly inspirational video…please keep those and that style going. That’s good stuff.

I’ve got a peach tree trunk that I’ve been pondering what to do with…it may be turned into a pair of Indian clubs!

39 Rodney March 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I’ve learned Scott Sonnon’s complete Clubbell Circular Strength Training system after over two years of training with them and i’m hooked ! I’ve been using them with my personal training clients for close to a year now and they love it too, along with his IntuFlow joint mobility exercise and some of his Prasara Yoga !

40 Yared March 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm

In my opinion, possessing a pair of strong and big forearms when you’re getting older and older is incredibly manly.

41 David March 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm

More videos like that please, that sold me on the clubs.

42 Jay Rice March 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm

if you can’t find the clubs could simple dumbbells work?

43 DonB March 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Ok, I was inspired. I, too, could not resist the video. Loved it, and the time you put into it.

A while back I made myself a set 0f clubs out of plumbing parts from a YouTube video that showed how to make them. They turned out way too heavy. My ‘manliness’ couldn’t handle lessening the weight so they sat there for over a year. After seeing the video, I had to try something so I immediately went out to the garage and took them apart, and I got them down to 2.5 pounds and about 15 inches long each. All with parts you can get from your local plumbing or big box hardware store.

Now for some club work.

44 novembertwentyeleven March 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm

In old Hindi movies, I sometimes saw a hefty wrestler character (with a mustache like yours!) doing these club exercises. I thought they were there for comic reasons – had no idea these are actual exercises.

45 Eric W March 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Just want to second the comment above about Revolution CLubs. The folks that run the business are great people. Check them out at http://www.revolutionclubs.net/

46 Christian D. March 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Yep, good stuff that people are rediscovering. I’m sure strong men of old bought US made products like at RevolutionClubs.net

47 Derek March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Great stuff. I’m going to immediately go get some. I too feel that most common shoulder exercises fail to provide a broad enough range of motion. Until now I have supplemented them with the next closest thing which is throwing a football. I have found it to be a pretty good substitue and at age 36, having never played quarterback I can fire tight spirals close to 55-60 yards. But of course this is frustrating to do with your non-dominant arm and requires quite a bit of space (and chasing). Indian clubs, here I come.

Thanks AoM!!!

48 Ken March 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Great article and video…I received a pair for my birthday six months ago and have enjoyed learning the basics.
The video by Ed Thomas was very helpful in that regard.

49 Josey March 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I saw Indian Clubs in an episode of The Addams Family (the 1960s TV series). I didn’t know they where a real thing until now. Thank you!

It’s episode 22 of season 1 “Amnesia in the Addams Family”. Gomez accidentally hits himself in the head while juggling with old Indian clubs (clubs he got from an old Indian!) and gets amnesia.

50 Richard March 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I have been using the clubs for over 10 years and can attest to the benefits to the shoulders. http://www.motionrx.com
has a lot of interesting videos, links and articles on the clubs. Their history page has a link to the “History Channel”
showing some old Olympic events, like
rope climbing, tug of war and Indian clubs.

51 Joseph Blough March 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Here is a Fox Sports clip of the clubs in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ouasEujAg8

52 Nathan March 21, 2012 at 12:39 am

Really nicely done video with the old- timey motif, Brett. I can’t recommend the stuff by Dr. Ed Thomas at http://www.motionrx.com enough. He’s the real deal. He’s taught soldiers in the Army how to swing clubs, has his doctorate in physical education, and actually went to Burma on a Fulbright Scholarship to study the art of Indian Club swinging. Here’s a link to a video of me using clubs as a warm up to the rest of my workout routine. In the video, I’m using the 2lb plastic clubs marketed by Ed Thomas’ Motionrx company. They run about $50.
http://fitnessforbusyguys.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/fitness-for-what/

53 Perry Clarke March 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm

@B.S. Or bowling pins perhaps? I saw some sets for half the price he picked. But still it’s quite the investment for the fiscally challenged.

54 alex March 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Scott sonnon is the premier Indian club, or clubbell, trainer alive right now. Check his stuff out.

55 alex March 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Scott sonnon is the premier Indian club, or clubbell, trainer alive right now. Check his stuff out. I made a set of 9# clubs from steel pipe.

56 Tom Gold March 22, 2012 at 4:25 am

Brett, Great post and very good video. I’m training for a kayaking trip this fall, Indian clubs could make a lot of difference. I love the advertisement for Ogden’s Cigarettes which also provides handy tips on using clubs. Maybe they should put some training tips on the wall in Burger king too!

57 Steve March 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Make your own clubs good sirs!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nux8nu2Jaks

58 Mike March 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Isn’t it called Persian clubs? I know ancient Persian warriors and later many famous wrestlers like Takhti (famous olympian who beat the Russian champion with a broken arm) trained with them.

Links: http://www.irantaekwondo.com/userfiles/image/Takhti_4.gif

Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gholamreza_Takhti

Doesn’t he just look manly? He’s using clubs in the wiki picture.

59 Hossein March 24, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Indian clubs aren’t just used by ancient Persian wrestlers. You’ll still find them used in Iranian zurkhanehs (house of strength).

60 DKhuluq March 25, 2012 at 8:39 am

Check out this movie, to back up what Hossein posted above.

Zurkhaneh: The House of Strength – Music and Martial Arts of Iran http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1789107/

61 Nate March 25, 2012 at 10:48 am

Very cool article. I’ve read about Indian Clubs recently from Louie Simmons of the famed Westside Barbell and he has been having his athletes do them for years. I had no idea how far back they were actually used in practice though–very interesting. Trying to convince my gym to pick up a few sets. They are GREAT for shoulder prehab, as noted.

62 Edium Gonzalez March 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Hello. I have apair of 2lb indian clubs & the Dr. Ed Tomas dvd. My question is:What is the difference between Dr. Tomas’s dvd and Mr. Richard “Army” Maguire and the “British Style” Headed by Real Commandos or Sheffield “Indian Club Swingers”. Some say that the “British Style” & Army are more traditional and more combative. HELP !

63 Michael March 29, 2012 at 9:50 am

Ok, that video is exceedingly clever. Bravo.

64 Andy Eppard April 2, 2012 at 9:03 am

What is it with Indian Clubs? I bought some in December from oldtimestrongman.com. I purchased the classic wooden ones that came with a chart and a DVD. I found the chart most helpful in demonstrating and explaining the exercises. I absolutely love the routine and wonder how they ever ceased to be popular. The ones I purchased were only 20 ounces, just a little over a pound. However, I like using them so much I have now purchased some 3 lb wooden ones from Revolution Clubs. I am hoping my wife will start a routine with me and use the lighter clubs. Great video by the way!

65 Tyler Herman April 4, 2012 at 12:16 am

This looks like fun, although I could see hurting a wall, ceiling light or someone else in the process. Might not be the best workout for the gym but maybe I’ll give it a shot in the back yard

66 Duane Mathes April 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm

@Sax: I also have a rotator cuff injury. According to the comments on the motionrx site, it appears club swinging could actually be therapeutic. I’ll probably whip up some homemade clubs and give it a go.

67 joseph April 7, 2012 at 1:58 am

after i m done with my workout sessions i always had problem of itching and problems of ringworm.so i switched to some natural products for body care…….. go through th links to the people who go for extensive workouts …..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb9cEjxnvtQ&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEuCNRbjF24&feature=youtu.be

68 Neville April 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm
69 Rev. Andy Eppard April 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

My 3lb Indian clubs finally came in. They are quite heavier than my smaller clubs but I like them even more because they challenge me more. My wife is now taking them up too and using my lighter ones. Thanks Brett for the tip on Simon D. Kehoe’s booklet. I find it quite helpful and have learned some exercise that I did not know before. I also picked up the one by Edward B. Warman that you have shown in the article. The first exercises I learned from a chart put out by oldtimestrongman.com, that came with my first set of clubs. It was a chart I believe from the early 1900′s by Staff-Sgt. Moss, who was well known in that era for his great display of strength as well as skill with the Indian clubs. You can buy the chart without the clubs. Happy clubbing!

70 Evilcyber April 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm

While this does look like fun, I’m not sure if it would be a swell idea for shoulder rehab, as an injured shoulder joint might no respond well to all the centrifugal force pulling on it. You’d have to be very careful about the force you are applying there.

71 Rev. Andy Eppard September 20, 2012 at 7:25 am

My 7.5 clubs came in about a month ago. Wow, I can’t believe how light the 3lb ones feel after using the heavier ones for a short time. It was quite a challenge at first but the strength and muscle development that comes with using heavier clubs is a benefit. I use the heavier clubs mostly for Mr. Kehoe’s exercises and the lighter clubs for the one’s I have learned from other sources. I like to train with kettlebells too, however, I believe if one were to just go for a brisk walk everyday and use the clubs they would be in excellent shape. That goes to say they follow a good diet.

72 Nate October 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I had an idea because paying $50+ for something like this right now is not in my budget. I called the local bowling all and asked them if they had any old pins that were busted up and unusable for bowling purposes. Of course, they did and sold them to me for $3 each. Regulation pins weigh 3lbs, 6oz and are coated with a plastic resin. I stripped the plastic resin and had near-3-pound clubs. They’re not as long and as perfect as the clubs featured here, but for a man who has to make-do and do the best he can with whats cheaply available, they work great. Thanks for the head’s up on these exercises, friend.

73 Liam February 1, 2013 at 7:05 am

Could children do Indian club training to improve their strength, and flexibility?

74 Richard February 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_-gTzrqMiE&feature=related

Link to Youtube of PE Classes using
Indian Clubs, kettlebells and other
functional equipment.

75 DefeatCobra February 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I love the video. Mainly your haircut. How do I get your haircut?

76 James Boelter May 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Very useful (and charming) video! Thanks for getting me interested in this!

77 Marc May 22, 2013 at 6:58 am

I put my ego in my pocket and bought a pair of one pound clubs ( I really wanted to get something heavier). After going through Ed Thomas’ video with them I am glad I did so. Thank you for your advice to start light. By the way, the Revolution Clubs are real beauties.

78 Marc May 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Here’s a link to a pdf of the 1908 book “Club swing for physical exercise and recreation” by William jackson Schatz:

http://openlibrary.org/books/OL7001509M/Club_swinging_for_physical_exercise_and_recreation

79 Tye June 6, 2013 at 12:43 am

I’m now scoping out a pair of these on ebay. I’m hoping to get this pair I found on which appears in this Spalding and Brothers catalog from 1906 (http://www.scribd.com/doc/34239827/1906-Spalding-Catalogue-of-Spring-Summer-Sports)! That would be a good score in my opinion.
In the mean time, I’m practicing with a pair I improvised using wine bottles of near-equal size and weight with vet-wrap on the neck for added grip. What a workout!

80 joe June 16, 2013 at 12:38 am

Nice vid and posts, thanks everyone. I’ve been using the Schatz book, which I downloaded free of the web, for a while, and found it to be very helpful. Some of the circle diagrams are confusing, but I’ve gotten enough out of it to help a lot. There are also some great old exercise pdfs on http://www.sandowplus.co.uk/Competition/compindex.htm, all free to download. I especially like the Kiputh book, which i use a lot for fast core workouts. I have had some shoulder issues from years of boxing, surfing, jujitsu, etc, and i find the clubs to be fun and helpful to stay loose and flexible (i use 2lb clubs, and started with the Ed Thomas dvd). I often go out in my yard around 1 A.M. before bed and do a half hour routine, and find it to be fun, and very meditative.
Great vid above, and thanks for the excellent site.

81 Alan Andrews July 23, 2013 at 9:34 am

Love that video. Great article, too. Combining that with the mace training could turn anyone into a beast.

82 shirley July 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I learned how to swing indian clubs at Girls Brigade as a young teenager and we did a super routine to music, it was great for posture (had to stand up straight or it hurt other parts of the body) and our “teacher” said “chests out girls, its great for the bust line” and so it was. still enjoy them many many years on a great way to stay supple and strong without building muscle man muscles. hope others enjoy. xxxx

83 spunky August 26, 2013 at 1:17 am

Rto think those clubs go as heavy as 50lbs. Got be some freak genes to pull that off.

84 Mark September 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

How can you write an article about club training without mentioning the Iron Sheik?

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