August 22, 2021
If you are looking for a great mobility workout routine using Indian clubs, you’ve landed in the right place. In this article, we will cover what you need to know about mobility training with Indian clubs and we have the perfect full body mobility routine for you, which includes bodyweight ground exercises as well to ensure all your joints and muscles are accounted for.
Note: Our full body Indian club and bodyweight mobility routine is 20 minutes. The video is full length, so you can follow along to it on any device. We highly recommend doing this routine before a workout as a warm up or on active rest days. It’s going to make you feel great!
Indian clubs are a type of exercise equipment that resemble a bowling-pin. This fitness training tool originated in the Indian subcontinent (hence the name) well over a century ago.
In this post, we will just stick to the basics of what an Indian club is and its benefits, but if you are interested, here you can learn more about the history and benefits of Indian Clubs.
While originally made of wood, these days sellers produce them in polyurethane as well.
Indian clubs are used to enhance joint mobility, bilateral coordination, balance and posture. They improve strength, stability, and mobility of the shoulders, elbows and wrists by using fluid, full-range motions. Ultimately, this increases injury resilience, range of motion, and force production. Because of this, it is a very popular tool among athletes in rotational sports and combat athletes like wrestlers and MMA fighters.
Note: Indian clubs are not to be confused with steel clubs. Although they look the same and many of the applications are the same or similar (i.e. rotational work), Indian clubs are lightweight (1, 2 or 3 pounds) and focus on mobility, fluidity and speed, whereas steel clubs are heavier (10-45 pounds) and focus on strength, grip strength, and controlling force.
Related: Heavy Steel Club Workout
Indian clubs are great for working on upper body mobility and fluidity, particularly in the shoulders, elbows and wrists.
They are mainly used to help increase range of motion, fluidity, and resilience of these joints, which is great for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.
With that, Indian clubs fit nicely into warm ups, movement prep, specific skill training, and recovery training. In this regard, Indian clubs are extremely effective.
One of the best things about Indian clubs is how great they make you feel. It’s going to get that synovial fluid flowing and your joint complexes feeling brand new again. Plus, they are a lot of fun.
Indian clubs are great for targeting the upper body, particularly the scapula, shoulders, elbows and wrists, but they won’t do much in the way of the lower body.
Because we want to have a full body mobility routine that works as a complete warm up before a workout or recovery on a rest day following intense training, we need to look at exercises that target the lower body too. Then we can mix them in with the Indian club exercises for a full body mobility workout.
To have a full body mobility routine, we need to target our:
...and all of the surrounding muscles.
With Indian clubs, we can effectively work the last four, so we need some different exercises to target the ankles, knees, hips and spine.
The best mobility exercises for the lower body and spine will be bodyweight exercises.
All it takes to improve mobility is movement. Your body is all you need.
Some of the best mobility exercises are what people call “ground work”. Essentially, they involve bodyweight movements that are done on the ground or from the ground up.
In summary, the below mobility routine, which is great for movement prep and warm up before a workout or as active recovery on a rest day, will incorporate both bodyweight ground-based exercises and Indian club exercises. With everything combined, you will be targeting all of the major joints in your body. This is as complete of a mobility and warm up routine that you could ask for.
All you need is a pair 1 pound or 2 pound Indian clubs. 3 pound clubs are also ok, but we recommend most people, especially beginners, to use 1 or 2 pound clubs. Remember, Indian club training is not about building muscle, it’s about improving and enhancing movement.
The video below is our Indian club and bodyweight mobility routine. It is full length, so you can follow along to it on any device. Mike Pastor is your coach for the video and he does a great job of taking you through the routine, giving you cues and tips along the way to ensure you have correct form.
Workout Time: 20 Minutes
Equipment Needed: 1 or 2 pound Indian Clubs
Goal: Mobility, Warm Up, Movement Prep, Recovery
No rest between sets or rounds
1. Arm Cast (0:24) x 20 reps (10 each side)
2. Hip Switch (1:34) x 20 reps (10 each side)
3. Wrist Circles (3:21) x 10 reps
4. Leg Roll Over (4:19) x 20 reps (10 each side)
5. 4 Count Swing (5:45) x 20 reps (10 each side)
6. Scorpion (6:54) x 10 reps (5 each side)
7. The Mill (variation): (7:54) x 10 reps each side
8. Technical Stand Up (9:44) x 10 reps (5 each side)
Below we will go through each exercise in the mobility workout above, explaining the benefits and providing step-by-step instructions for how to do the exercise.
Feel free to pick and pull exercises from this routine to use for other warm ups and mobility trainings that you do.
Main Target: Shoulder mobility & deltoid activation
How To Do Indian Club Arm Casts:
Main Target: Hip mobility & glute activation
How to do Hip Switches:
Main Target: Wrist mobility
How to do Indian Club Wrist Circles:
Main Target: Hip and knee mobility & glute and core activation
How to do Leg Rollovers:
Main Target: Hip and shoulder mobility, lat flexibility, and some light activation of the glutes, core, arms and shoulders
How to do Indian Club 4 Count Swings:
With this exercise, there is rotation both at the hips and shoulders and you’ll be slightly lifting your feet up and moving them to the left and right in sync with your hips, creating a pelvic rhythm. Essentially, your clubs have the right away and your body is moving around the clubs in a smooth, easy and controlled manner.
Main Target: Shoulder, Spine (lumbar and thoracic), Hip Mobility & chest and hip flexor stretch
How to do Scorpion Stretches:
Main Target: This is a variation of the classic Indian Club mill. Shoulder, elbow, wrist mobility and hip and ankle fluidity.
How to do Indian Club Mills:
Main Target: This is a popular BJJ and MMA exercise, as it teaches fighters to come up from the ground in a way that protects them from an opponent’s attack. For the general population, it is a great full body exercise that does a great job of activating your lower body muscles and opening up your hips.
How to do Technical Stand Ups:
This is a full body mobility routine so it is great to do as a warm up before really any strength training workout or as a stand alone workout on active rest days.
Indian Clubs (either 1 or 2 pound clubs are all you need). You want lightweight clubs!
If you want that classic feel, get wooden clubs, but if you want the most cost-friendly option, go for the polyurethane clubs. Both are great.
Here are the best options for Indian clubs on Amazon:
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