steel mace 360 practice moves and progressions

4 Steel Mace Practice Moves to Master the 360 and 10-to-2 (Updated)

April 28, 2019

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 and 10-to-2, a.k.a. gada swings, 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 of Ancient Persians and Hindus mace training. It's particularly useful for building grip strength, core stability, shoulder and back strength/endurance/range of motion.

Before we show you the practice moves. Here are how the mace 360 and 10 to 2 should look when performed. 

STEEL MACE 360


STEEL MACE 10-TO-2


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? Who doesn't like improved range of motion, stronger joints, stronger core, and impressive grip strength?

We recommend starting out with a smaller mace weight. People are usually surprised how heavy even a 15LB mace can feel, 20LBS sometimes can render the mace useless for people who are not use to mace training. A 15LB steel mace is a good place to start if you already have a solid foundation and/or are experienced with unconventional equipment such as kettlebells. If not, go for a 10LB mace.

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. Albeit, they are powerful, clearly, as that is not an easy feat. It definitely requires (and builds) strength, but again, most importantly, it requires good 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 and 10 to 2 quickly. If your 360 sucks, you need this practice. 

UPDATE: We've added a couple important 360 and 10 to 2 movements to this post (so there are more than 2 practice moves now).

STEEL MACE 360 and 10 to 2 Practice Exercises/Moves

1. Pendulum


The first practice move is the Pendulum.   

The pendulum will help your movement system get used to the motion, pattern and the weight of the mace on the back side of the swing.

Key Points:

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. Bring your hands down close to your neck, get them low.
5. Don't flare your ribs, keep them tucked.
6. Swing for 10-15 reps (put your reps in until it's mastered)

2. Metronome


The second movement is the Metronome.

The Metronome will help your movement system get used to the motion, pattern and the weight of the mace on the front side of the swing. This will help you understand which point the mace should be swung over your shoulder. You want to move the mace from the 10 o'clock point to the two o'clock point. Not only will this prime you for the first part of a 360 swing, it will help you build grip and forearm strength. This practice movement is especially effective for practicing the 10-to-2 swing, as you will need control and pause with the mace in both the 10 and 2 position during the 10-to-2 swing.

Tips:

1. Keep your eye on the head of the mace.
2. Keep your core tight.
3. Pause with the mace at the 10 then move to the 2, pause, and repeat to the 10. 
4. Move slowly and with full control (this portion of the swing requires strength, not momentum like the Pendulum does).
5. Swing for 10-15 reps (put your reps in until it's mastered)

3. Mace Pull Over


The third movement is the Mace Pull Over.

This movement is very important. It will help you understand the mechanics of pull the mace from the Pendulum to the front portion of the swing. It's crucial for practicing the 360, as when you bring the Pendulum (back side of the 360 swing) to the front, you need to pull and be powerful and in control of the mace. 

Tips:
1. Practice first with your hands spaced apart, then as you get used to the movement, stack your hands in a typical 360 swing position (bottom of the handle).
2. Keep your core tight.
3. Bring the mace from the back to the front with full control.
4. Do not flare your ribs.
5. Swing for 10-15 reps (put your reps in until it's mastered)

Piece the movements together

You can start piecing these 3 practice moves together now. For example, Do the pendulum swing and practice pulling it over to the front - so pendulum to pull over, then repeat. Then do the metronome to pendulum but continue with the pendulum instead of trying to pull it over. Keep practicing this, put your reps in.

4. Choked Up 360


The fourth practice move is a Choked Up 360.

After you practice the 3 moves above, and you are use to the movements and motion, start to practice the 360 with your hands choked up on the handle. Choking up on the handle makes the mace 360 exercise easier.

Try it with you hands at the middle knurling. It won't feel as smooth since there will be less momentum as you are making it a shorter lever essentially, however, as you get use to the weight of the mace and the movement pattern of the 360 and 10 to 2, you can slowly work your hands down the handle of the mace until you are able to stack them at the end of the handle. 

You will notice it’s easier/smoother when your hands are lower down the handle - if you know how to perform the movement properly that is. It will feel fantastic. 

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.

Watch all 4 Mace 360 and 10 to 2 Practice Moves - Learn How to Swing the Macebell - Full Video


Other mace tutorials:

Mace 360 video tutorial

Mace 10-to-2 video tutorial

Which exercise should I work on first - Mace 360 or 10 to 2?

We suggest mastering the 360 first. 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.

Learn more Steel Mace Basics.

Tips for mace 360s and 10 to 2s.

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.

Remember it's also about momentum. Let the mace do the work on the back side of the swing, and don't give the mace the death grip. Let your shoulders be relaxed on the back portion of the swing, but always keep your core tight. 

Always bring your hands down to your navel on the front side of the swing. When your stacked hands meet your belly button, pause, then continue your swing. Your hands should not be swinging from your chest height.

How to upgrade your mace swing.

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"

Single Arm 360s


Single Arm 10 to 2s


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! 

66 Steel Mace Swing Variations

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.

Closing note:

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. 

5 Mace Workouts Methods For Full Body Conditioning

Beginner mace workout

Don’t have a steel mace? Get one!



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