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Fact checked by Kirsten Yovino, CPT Brookbush InstituteFACT CHECKED
February 03, 2021
Although the steel mace is likely not the first implement that comes to mind when it is time for a leg workout, it is actually a very effective training tool for targeting the lower body. The steel mace can be used to build a strong, mobile lower body, and it does so in a very unique manner. Don’t believe us? Well, we have a steel mace lower body workout for you that involves 5 of the best steel mace leg exercises and we guarantee it will change the way you think of “leg day”.
With just a steel mace, you can absolutely get a great workout in for your legs, which means your glutes, quads and hamstrings. We are talking about workouts that, if done consistently, will build muscle, strength and endurance in your entire lower body. Not only that, but due to the nature of the steel mace and the leg exercises it entails, your hip mobility will improve tenfold as well.
All you have to do to make a steel mace leg workout effective is move with intention on tension and have the right workout protocol and rep scheme. If you keep focused and really emphasize the contractions (which includes your upper body, as you are holding the mace after all), you will feel the burn and the pump. Couple that with supersets and the right exercises, as well as a heavy steel macebell relative to your strength level, and you are on your way to bigger, stronger, more mobile and enduring legs.
Below we have a full length steel mace leg workout by Scott Viala that you can follow along to. If you pay attention and follow his routine, form tips, and techniques, we promise your legs are going to be on fire. You are going to learn a lot about how to make the steel mace more effective, and not just for your legs, but your entire body. He does a really fantastic job of showing you how to engage the muscles properly. Not to mention, the 5 steel mace leg exercises he employed are great (and by great we mean killer).
Before we get into it, let’s go over a few things that make the steel mace special for leg workouts and just in general.
With most of the weight is in the head of the mace at the end of the handle, it feels much heavier than the poundage would suggest. This makes the steel mace considerably more difficult than other training tools. Moreover, the long-handled offset weight lends itself to very dynamic exercises that emphasize large ranges of motion and multiplanar movements. It will train your lower body in a more athletic way. It moves you like humans are supposed to be moved, through various planes of motion, rather than robotic, like machine based leg exercises (sorry leg presses and smith machines, while you do have your place in fitness, strength is much more than just pushing or pulling heavy, perfectly-balanced weight up and down).
In our opinion, the steel mace is a great tool to be used in tandem with barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells. We would throw it into a workout with barbell squats, single leg Romanian deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and so on. We’d just skip most of if not all of the machines. After all, anything in the gym that involves us sitting is an overkill. Why go to the gym and sit when most of us are sitting for the vast majority of they day already.
Now, let’s say you don’t have or want to use other training tools and do big lifts…no worries, with just a steel mace, we promise you can train your legs effectively, and with ego aside! And if you use progressive overload techniques, you can build muscle and strength in your lower body over time.
We are ready to prove just how effective a steel mace leg workout can be. So, get your steel mace ready and do this 30-minute steel mace lower body workout!
Note: Scott throws on a fabric hip band for one of the steel mace exercises in this leg workout. It’s a great way to increase the difficulty (without needing a heavier mace) and it will help engage your glutes even more. If you have one, use it as he does in the workout, and if you don't, you can get one from us.
Equipment: Steel Mace & Fabric Hip Band (the fabric band is optional)
Goal: Lower Body Muscular Strength, Endurance, and Hypertrophy
Muscles Worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Hips, Calves, and Core (as well as some upper body muscles on certain exercises, after all, you need to hold the steel mace with your arms!).
Time: 30 Minutes
Exercise 1: Ballistic Curl Squat x 20 reps x 3 sets
Exercise 2: Superset x 3 sets
Exercise 3: Superset x 3 sets
Note: Feel free to pause the video if you need a rest!
For those who are interested or don’t want to follow along to this workout, we will break down the above exercises with some how to’s and tips for you.
These are the 5 leg exercises Scott used in this steel mace workout. They are some of our favorite macebell leg exercises as they hit the legs beautifully and they involve large ranges of motion and multi joints so you’ll also be burning a ton of fat simultaneously (well, calories to be specific but you get the point).
1. Ballistic Curl Squat (0:10)
For a little extra tension and difficulty, if you have hip band, wrap around your legs just above your knee when doing the Ballistic Curl Squat. You will feel your glutes working overtime!
The fabric “booty” band is also great as it forces you to create tension on the knees, which will prevent them from buckling in (a common mistake for those who lack strength). By eliminating this issue, you will ensure you are getting maximum tension on your glutes and quads. You never want your knees buckling in on squats, it makes the exercises much less effective and if you were using heavy weight it puts your joints at risk of injury.
2. Reverse Lunge to Uppercut (6:05)
After you do the desired reps, you need to repeat on the opposite side, as this is a one-sided exercise.
3. Offset Stiff-Legged Deadlift (8:12)
For this exercise, you should be slow and controlled on the way down and explosive on the way up. Be sure to squeeze your legs and glutes at the top and really feel the stretch as you go down.
As this is a single sided exercise, you will be doing the same reps on the opposite side right after you do a set on one side.
4. Barbarian Squat (18:54)
5. Alternating Lateral Lunge (22:32)
If you have any questions about these exercises, feel free to reach out to us.
If you want to hit legs properly, you’ll need a heavy mace relative to your strength. Scott uses a 20LB steel mace in this lower body workout and it hit his legs effectively. For you, that may be a lighter or possibly heavier mace. Use your judgement.
If you only have a light mace (I.e. 7-10lbs), then do more reps and really focus on creating maximum tension.
Buy a Fabric Resistance Band from SET FOR SET
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