Indian Clubs are an ancient, efficient, and effective tool designed to build fluid, complex movements essential to shoulder, elbow, and wrist health alongside mobility and movement patterning. Today there are many styles of Indian clubs, some made of wood, plastic, or even steel in varying styles, weights, and sizes.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all fitness levels looking for an edge in weightlifting and sport can use the variety club movements provide. Many advanced movements can improve the upper body, lower body, and even propel footwork. Kettlebell athletes, professional weightlifters, and powerlifters looking to strengthen and mobilize the rotator cuff muscles will find club workouts an essential compliment to their existing training program.
Restoring shoulder health, rehabilitation and injury prevention are also top reasons to try Indian Clubs. Swinging heavy clubs is not the goal with these exercise tools, and the myriad of benefits of Indian Clubs make this implement a must-have for anyone looking to increase mobility, strength, agility, and improve overall health.
The Dragon Door Indian Clubs
Dragon Door, a global leader in the current kettlebell movement, calisthenics
instruction, and strength training, has created a solid functional tool that is useful for any athlete. Dragon Door clubs are made of a high quality talc-filled polypropylene polymer which resists the elements of temperature extremes, moisture, and the outer shell will not crack or fade.
Dragon Door Clubs are available in two sizes: a 1lb pair and a 2lb pair. We tested the 2lb set, but would recommend both sizes. Both sizes have their own unique benefits to increase shoulder strength, improve mobility, and increase range of motion. It is recommended that you start with the lighter set because these tools are potent to even the most advanced athletes.
It is important to remember that heavier is not better when it comes to these clubs, and the true objective of these tools is to build fluid movement patterns. Clubs have the added benefit of strengthening your grip, and improving hand, wrist, and forearm musculature.
Club Testing Conditions
We tested the clubs in a variety of modifications; as a preworkout based warm up, as a full club based workout, and as a quick mobility session on a rest day. The clubs are easy to grip and the learning curve for swinging is quite easy. After a club workout you will be surprised how mobile your upper body, neck, and shoulders feel. Another added benefit of the club workouts was that the fluid motion almost has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. We attributed this to the the stimulation in left brain/right brain activity associated with the fluid movement patterns, almost like a Tai Chi or yoga session. Our favorite club workout was a pre-kettlebell workout warmup. We found it prepared the body for the rigours of heavy cleans, jerks, snatches, swings, and deadlifts.
Use a lighter club set to start and make sure you have plenty of space to fully engage in the exercises with long fluid motions. Tight workout spaces and crowded gym areas will not allow for safe and effective club work. We recommend purchasing the Club Swinging Essentials DVD to get started with the basics of club work. This video runs about an hour and a half and features the precise instruction of well known experts Gray Cook, Brett Jones, and Dr. Ed Thomas. The DVD also includes a detailed manual.
Highlighted benefits of Indian Clubs:
- Balanced development of the entire upper body
- Increased flexibility and strength in the hands, wrists, elbows, and shoulders
- Aids in correcting body imbalances and poor posture
- Increased joint mobility, neural coordination, and range of motion
- Activates core strength and prepares the posterior chain for a tough, weighted workout
- Balances left brain/right brain, and leaves the body feeling energized, open, and ready
- Quality: super durable, balanced, symmetrical, sturdy, and smooth
- Design: resistant to sun, water, extreme temperatures, will not crack, break, chip, or fade
- Price: cost effective product as compared to other clubs on market
- Lack of level base: clubs do not stand upright on their own for storage
More unique workouts to challenge your mind and body: