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Fact checked by Kirsten Yovino, CPT Brookbush InstituteFACT CHECKED
March 28, 2019 2 Comments
The Steel Mace is one of the best pieces of equipment for building core strength and stability…and as a byproduct, rock solid 6 pack abs.
Steel Mace training works core strength and stability incredibly well because of the way the mace is designed. The weight is unevenly distributed, with most of the weight being at the head of the mace. This means the load is offset, requiring your core to be fully engaged so you can remain stable and upright. Because of this, virtually every exercise you perform with the steel mace will target your core. You can engage your core even more by holding the mace further down the handle, which makes the load more offset than if your hands are closer to the head of the mace.
Now, you can also perform steel mace exercises that specifically target the core, and when doing so, you get normal core work plus the added benefit of the steel maces design. This is like doubling down on core exercises. You really can’t beat that.
Furthermore, the traditional and most popular movements of the steel mace are essentially core stability exercises (they also target shoulders, forearms, upper back, lats and more). They are called 360s and 10 to 2s.
These exercises require you to swing the mace around your body, in the transverse plane, which means you need to have powerful core strength and stability to remain upright with good posture/correct form. With heavier steel maces, this becomes very apparent.
Note about 360s and 10-to-2s: Although they can be done with some rotation involved, they are typically anti-rotational exercises.
With all that being said, we believe steel maces are the ultimate training tool for core strength. You can work through all 3 planes of motion, and it is very effective for targeting the transverse plane, which many people neglect training. Your core will only be trained fully and completely if you target all three planes of motion - sagittal, frontal, and transverse (anti-rotation and rotational exercises).
Here is a video we put together which is a compilation of our favorite steel mace core exercises. Some of these are specifically steel mace core exercises while others are more compound movements which also target the core to great effect.
When performing steel mace rotational exercises, you want to protect yourself from low back injuries by following some simple rules.
You can start light so you can get comfortable with the movements, as the mace is an awkward tool when first starting out. However, you will have the greatest results for steel mace core exercises by using a heavier mace (relative to your strength and while maintaining proper form). We typically recommend experienced mace swingers to use a 20 or 25LB mace for 360s and 10 to 2s, although a 15LB (and even a 10LB) mace can also do the job well too (more reps!). The heavier you can go while maintaining proper form, the better. That being said, some exercises will require you to use a lighter mace. Start light when testing out a new exercise.
Get a SET FOR SET Steel Mace
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