It looks like a lot of people enjoyed my last post listing my top 5 training tools of 2009. There were many comments and questions so I’m going to try to respond to them today.
Many people had some variety of leverage tool in their top five. Clubbells, maces and sledgehammers. And there was one question asking about how 1 lb. Indian clubs could possibly give a workout when the starter clubbell is 15 lbs. (BTW, Clubbell is the name of the specific tool put out by Scott Sonnon and RMAX.)
Let me start by talking about leverage tools in general. The whole idea behind them is that a relatively light weight on the end of a long lever is going to make the weight feel incredibly heavy. Depending on the weight and length of the tool will depend on what you can use it for.
Maces generally are the longest objects. They’re almost always swung with two hands and are still popular among Middle Eastern and Indian wrestlers.
Most clubs, including clubbells, are a bit shorter then the maces, but they come in a variety of weights. Depending on which one you use you can go one or two handed.
Clubs can be swung in a wide variety of ways. There are whole DVD’s and books filled with the different possible movements you can do. Any sort of swinging can bring a real three dimensional training into your program however you do it.
The light Indian clubs are really more of a weighted joint mobility. Done properly with certain swinging patterns you’ll be able to do moves you couldn’t possibly do with 15 lbs.
The leverage and force of the swings makes them such great tools. For this reason they are targeted in building coordination and keeping healthy more than building muscle or strength.
Neither one is better or worse, they just have different uses.
Another common implement was some sort of cables. These are a great tool and something I plan to use more in the near future.
Cables provide a resistance unlike any other. While with a weight the pull of gravity and the weight is always constant with the cable it is not so. The longer you stretch the cable the greater the resistance becomes.
There are cables of different sizes and they can be used in many ways. You can mimic standard weighted moves like presses, curls, squats and more. But cables can be used in ways that cannot be done any other way (except expensive machines) like the behind the neck pressout or front chest pulls.
So why would you want to use cables? By this point I hope its obvious. You can target and hit muscles in ways that you can’t do any other way.
Both tools, the cables and Indian clubs, are great for rehab as well as taking preventative measures against injury.
Another common top 5 was some kind of odd object. I’ll have more on that another time.
An important thing to realize is that there is no top 5 training tools. Its going to depend on the person and their goals, to discover what should and will work best for them.