Written by Kelly Manzone
Video editing by Taco Fleur
I often get asked, “What are the benefits of mace training?” I always answer with, “It enhances my overall health and training performance”
Mace training can be part of a well-rounded fitness program; one in which that makes you feel healthy and strong. Personally, as I age within the industry, my desire to achieve a balance of strength far outweighs aesthetics. I think it’s important to be flexible and mobile as you move, while having the stability and strength to perform both athletically and in daily tasks.
Since incorporating mace work into to my training, I’ve seen the most improvement in my grip strength and shoulder mobility. I personally enjoy adding in a lot of pull-up variations; deadlifts and bottoms-up kettlebell work into my training programs. With the mace, the majority of the weight is at the end of the mace handle, which forces activation of the muscles in the hands, wrists and forearms…the lower the grip on the handle, the more challenging it becomes. Mace 360 and 10&2 are just two examples of exercises that increase grip strength.
I have always had a healthy range of shoulder mobility most likely stemming from a combination of genetics and a background in gymnastics and swimming. I recently started to compete in kettlebell sport long-cycle this past year. With my current training load and the amount of jerks I perform, shoulder health is key! The mace is the perfect compliment to any athlete that jerks or snatches. Not only does it help to swing a mace as part of a warm-up, it can also aid in recovery. Yet, you certainly don’t need to be an athlete to reap the mobility benefits. Along with mace 10&2 and 360, gravediggers are great exercise for improving mobility as a warming up, while building strength of the shoulder girdle.
Another benefit of mace training I’ve noticed is improved core stability and strength. Your abdominal muscles are challenged with every mace move. Just simply pick up a mace and you immediately feel their activation. If I’m in the mood for a full-body workout, that torches the core, the Barbarian Squat and Squat Press are my go to moves, along with the hand-to-hand switch.
The mace is certainly a diverse tool with a rich history…and it’s continuing to evolve. Check out the video below.
Mace flows have become very popular in recent years, while mace competitions have been popping up in conjunction with kettlebell competitions over this past year. Come this March, I’ll be competing in a 5min set of 10&2 with my adex mace in the next Vintage Strength Games in Ohio at the Arnold’s Classic. The mace is certainly here to stay.
Leave your comment below or on this facebook post here.