The Best Abdominal Exercise Equipment You Never Heard Of - Steel Maces

The Best Abdominal Exercise Equipment You Never Heard Of - Steel Maces

January 21, 2019

Are you looking for abdominal exercise equipment that will really tone up and strengthen your core?

Do you want to lose that belly fat and finally achieve a flat, rock hard stomach?

Are your abs good but obliques lacking? Still handling those difficult to remove love handles?

In this article, we will teach you about the best tool (and exercises) to achieve six pack abs while improving core stability.

This training tool is called the Steel Mace.

The Best Abdominal Exercise Equipment That You Probably Never Thought Of (and potentially never even heard of)...

Before we get into a question that many people ask - "what are steel maces?" - let us explain what makes for the best abdominal exercise equipment.

The best tool for your core is always the one that has multiple functions. Training the core alone isn’t necessarily the best way to get a powerful core and rock hard abs. Exercises like squats, bench and deadlifts are amazing exercises for the core, and they aren’t exactly “core” exercises. With that in mind, training functionally, with full body movements, will do much more for your core than doing endless sit-ups, crunches or leg raises (although we are big advocates for hanging leg raises).

If you want a flat stomach, you need to lose fat. To lose fat, you need to do HIIT workouts, or in any case, just make sure you keep your heart rate up while training.

You also need to eat right. Of course.

Now, to have a sexy midsection and good core stability, you need to train unilaterally...and even better, unilaterally with offset weight loads.

By doing this, you will be put to the challenge of staying upright and center, therefore blasting your core to maintain stability.

You also need to do heavy (relative to your strength ability), compound movements, which will require you to have a strong and tight core throughout the movements. If you don't have adequate core strength, you’ll have poor form and you'll risk injury.

As long as you are doing your compound lifts at the gym, additionally you'll only need is one tool and one tool only to be able to get an amazing core, six pack abs and obliques that pop, and again, this tool is a steel mace.

Trust us when we say, using the steel mace for months will not only improve your core, it will also enhance your balance and coordination, which is a win-win, especially for athletes.


What is a Steel Mace?

steel mace for core

The steel mace, or macebell as it is also known, is actually not a new type of workout equipment. In fact, it dates back centuries.

Originally, it was used by wrestlers from fighting cultures in ancient Persia and India. It was, and still is, called a Gada in India. It is still one of the main training tools used by Pehlwani Wrestlers.

The Gada was introduced into the Western world about a decade ago, in a slightly different form. The steel mace is the new form of the Gada. 

By making it from steel and altering the design slightly, it is easily be produced, safer and more secure, and it can be used in numerous ways (rather than just the traditional movements that people in India perform). 


In regards to it being used in many different ways, functional fitness trainers found serious benefits for the steel mace by performing all types of typical exercises but in offset form (due to the nature of the design of the mace, every exercise is offset as most of the weight is in the ball of the mace).

The steel mace has been making waves in the functional fitness industry, especially the last couple of years. This isn’t a trend, this is a proven tool that has withstood the test of time, so it’s not going anywhere, and we can guarantee you will find this in every single gym across the nation sooner than later.

As you probably already know, the mace was originally a weapon that was used in many different ancient armies, such as Romans, Vikings, Ancient Persians and probably most others as you can imagine, it looks like a brutal weapon after all. So, in fact, the Gada took inspiration from warriors who used a mace in war and training for war, and the steel mace took inspiration from the Gada and the weapon. Full circle in full effect. 

Why is the steel mace is the best core exercise equipment?

steel mace abs

One of the biggest benefits of macebell training is that it is very core intensive. Something many people are lacking in their fitness.

Why is it core intensive? Because, by nature of design, the steel mace carries most of the weight in the ball. This creates an offset load when training. The offset weight challenges core stability during every single movement as you need to keep your body upright and center throughout the movement. You'll see what we mean when watching the exercise videos below. 

All in all, the more you use the mace, the stronger your core will be, especially your external and internal obliques muscles.

Imagine holding a mace, doing sequences of exercises, similar to a yoga routine, for thirty minutes straight. Your muscles strength and endurance will be tested, your balance and coordination will be challenged, and you will be burning fat like crazy, allowing your abs to poke through.

This is how you get a six pack, amazing obliques, and good core stability - it’s more than just looking good, it’s also functional. Sit-ups or ab rollers have nothing on this.

The perfect tool for athletes

The Steel Mace is highly effective at improving sports performance. Athletic training focuses on balance and body awareness through the use of unilateral exercises. The steel mace, with its uneven weight distribution, works perfectly for this type of training, as doing exercises with an offset load is very similar to unilateral training. And, if you combine offset loads with unilateral movements, you have a super double whammy on balance, coordination and body awareness, which ultimately improves core stability tenfold. It's also amazing in that you will be working your whole body and seriously challenging your core at the same time.

Exercise Examples

Let's start with the traditional swinging movements - This is where it all started in ancient fighting cultures. 

10 to 2


Single Hand 10 to 2

Single Hand 360

As we mentioned, every steel mace exercise is good for the core, but thes following exercises aren't typical “core” exercises. Nonetheless, they WILL work
 your core and stability to great effect.

Dynamic Offset Lunges

The Dynamic Lunge isn’t a core exercise per say, but since you are holding the macebell in a position where most of the weight is to one side, you need to use your core to maintain an upright position, therefore working your abs and challenging your stability, coordination and balance.

Front Press (Squat Formation)

Offset Row


Half-kneeling Uppercut Press

Now, these are exercises using the mace that are specifically targetting the core:

Top 4 Steel Mace Core Exercises - Macebell Ab Workout

Glute Bridge With Chest Press Offset

Mace Pull Through Plank

Ab Row

Overhead Oblique Side Crunch

What is the weight of a steel mace?

The steel mace comes in various sizes - usually, it’s 5 or 7LBs minimum, and it goes all the way up in increments of 5 to as high as 40LBs.

At SET FOR SET, we sell 7, 10, 15, 20, and 25-pound maces. You might think that this weight isn’t very much, but if you have never tried a mace before, you’d be fooled. A 10LB and 15LB mace are extremely challenging for most well-conditioned athletes. 20 and 25LB maces should only be used by those with experience in macebell training. It feels A LOT heavier than it sounds.

If you aren’t sure about which weight to start with, you can read this article on which steel mace size is right for you.

Also, the lighter maces will have a slightly shorter handle than the bigger ones, and the handles will be slightly thinner. With that being said, all sizes should have an adequate handle length, as if they aren't long enough, it defeats the purpose of the mace since it will be hard to swing properly and with the right momentum.

steel mace guide



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