If you’ve got yourself a steel mace, first things first, you need to learn the essentials. The two main movements for the steel mace, arguably the most fun and effective as well, are the 10-to-2 and 360. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many more steel mace exercises. In fact, there are over 100!
The mace 360, a.k.a. gada swing, and 10-to-2 are what the mace is really known for. These two movements (with variations of the two, such as one-handed, or switch-hand) are the main focus for how the Ancient Persians and Hindus utilize(d) the mace in their training. It's particularly useful for building grip strength and shoulder endurance.
STEEL MACE 360
Mace 360s and 10-to-2s are difficult to learn at first, even with what you'd think is a light weight (i.e. 15lbs), but mastering the movements comes quickly, and it’s well worth it. Who doesn’t like to get a good workout in while feeling like a warrior?
We recommend starting out with a smaller weight. People are usually surprised how heavy even a 15LB mace can feel, 20LBS sometimes can render the mace useless for deconditioned individuals. However, a 15LB mace is a very good place to start if you already have a solid foundation and/or are experienced with unconventional equipment such as kettlebells.
One point to note, however, it's not just about being the strongest, as some skinny guys in India can swing 50LB maces with one hand (which is incredible), it's about technique. It definitely requires (and builds) strength, but most importantly it requires technique.
This article focuses on practice movements that will help you achieve mastery in swinging the mace and performing the 360 and 10-to-2.
The following movements will help you learn the steel mace 360 quickly.
First practice move is the Pendulum.
The pendulum will help your system get used to the motion and the weight of the mace.
1. Keep grip loose on mace
2. Bring hands lower down the mace if needed.
3. Let the momentum of the mace do the work.
4. Swing for 10-15 reps
Second practice move is a Choked Up 360.
Choking up on the handle makes the mace 360 exercise easier.
After you practice the two moves above, your system will get used to the motions. That’s when you can start to lower your hands down the handle.
Once you feel comfortable, lower your hands until they are both stacked at the bottom of the handle. You will actually notice it’s easier/smoother when your hands are lower down the handle (if you know how to perform the movement properly that is).
When there is more distance from your hands to the head of the mace (which carries most of the weight), more momentum is produced during the swing portion of the movement, which allows for a much more fluid feeling when performing the 360.
It definitely feels much cooler swinging the mace 360, in an almost meditative way, when holding the handle towards the bottom. The motion has fluidity which in turns causes your shoulders to have fluidity (mobility people!). But...take your time to get to this point, there's no rush and you certainly don't want to hurt yourself.
Mace 360 video tutorial
Mace 10-to-2 video tutorial
One you master the 360. THEN we suggest you move on to the 10-to-2. We believe the 10-to-2 is more difficult than the 360, so once you are doing high reps of the 360, you should be able to perform the 10-to-2 with ease, and with proper form more importantly!
Remember, if you start to perform 10-to-2s and it's difficult, choke up on the handle until you get used to the motion and build the strength.
Once you’ve mastered all the above, then you can move on to more difficult moves (Mace 360 and 10-to-2 progressions) and mace "flows".
You can get really creative with the mace, and these moves will bring out the warrior in you. Viking warrior - that means women are included!
Swinging around a steel mace is pretty empowering. It feels beastly. When you can see those obliques and shoulders flexin' you have that gladiatorial look and feel.
Tips for using the mace:
Keep your eye on the head of the mace as much as possible! It helps coordination and balance.
Remember, you can always make a movement (progressive ones too) easier by choking up on the handle.
Hands closer to the head of the mace = EASY.
Hands farther from the head of the mace = HARD.
I thought I’d leave you with some links below to help you learn more movements, how you can piece them into exercises, workouts, and the best place to get your indestructible steel mace – SET FOR SET!
Want complete and extensive mace training programming? Check out our steel mace training guide (digital download). Our guide will teach you everything you need to know about the mace, including videos of hand placements, starting positions, grip orientation, 360 and 10-to-2 progressions, steel mace flows, and tons of exercises...so that you can become a pro mace athlete/trainer.
Comments will be approved before showing up.