Have you ever heard about Clubbells or Indian Clubs?
Does the word sound familiar? Probably not, since they are not that popular.
Pay attention, because we are going to tell you all you need to know about this ancient workout system that we have retrieved from the past.
- 1. What are clubbells or Indian clubs?
- 2. The origin of clubbells
- 3. Ancestral workout
- 4. Indian Club Swinging
- 5. What are Clubbells used for?
- 6. Benefits of Clubbells
- 7. Then, are a clubbell and a kettlebell the same thing?
- 8. Why use clubbells?
- 9. Exercises with clubbells
- 10. Workout Routine with Clubbells
- 11. Clubbells competition
- 12. Conclusions
- 13. Related Entries
What are clubbells or Indian clubs?
Clubbells or Indian clubs are terms that refer to an accessory used during the Persian Epoch to exercise the body.
Later on, it has been used in the circus, as an accessory for marginal exercise and as a tradition in some countries (such as India).
When the Kettlebells started to become popular, more or less at the same time as military training, functional training and cross training started to get closer to each other. All of them became one and gave birth to what we know as CrossFit®.
At that moment, Scott Sonnon saw a unique commercial opportunity and he registered the brand Clubbells® and CST (Circular Strength Training®) without hesitation.
The origin of clubbells
It is not clear since they we could say that they have always been there. They are nothing else than a straight stick with a heterogeneous distribution of the weight.
Does anyone know what is the difference between a Clubbell and a mace?
Actually, they have the same design with the weight located in one point in order to improve the ballistic movement.
Its “methodical” origin goes back to the varzesh-e pahlavāni rituals from ancient Persia.
There, men gathered themselves in a ceremony that combined movements from martial arts, callisthenics, strength exercises and music.
Indian Club Swinging
Currently, we know it as Indian club swinging, which involved a type of physical exercise that became extremely popular after the Civil War.
This workout system used clubbells, taking advantage of their mechanical features in order to perform dynamic and ballistic movements as well as throwing.
All of this under the slogan of being a workout designed to “develop the body and mind and obtain a lean physique”.
The Central School of Physical Education was created with the same purpose, balancing the physical and mental energy of men.
It was a place where physical exercise prevented the corruption of the humanism of men, in order to avoid falling into vices and misfortune throughout their adult life.
Women were not able to participate in these activities until later on. Above all, the argument was that “it was not adequate for their development as women, since they would become brute and lose their femininity”.
What are Clubbells used for?
Their “creator”, Scott Sonnon, uses the same slogan that people used before but he has slightly adapted it. In fact, he states that “it can benefit everyone”.
Despite the fact that it sells as a unique workout system, the reality is quite different. It is still like a long kettlebell, a dumbbell with a badly distributed weight…
The truth is what Scott says when he refers to the use of Clubbells implies the connection of the production of strength from the upper body to the core, when he says that they are just an extension of the body.
Clubbells or Indian Clubs
The movements we can do with the clubbells are ballistic movements, which activate all the muscles from the body.
Benefits of Clubbells
The benefits of clubbells are not due to an error in the matrix or due to the fact that they are superior to traditional dumbbells. Let me explain.
This image clearly shows the weight distribution, the blue area is where most of the weight is.
Then, are a clubbell and a kettlebell the same thing?
No, even though they use the same mechanical principle, the fact that they have such a different design results in a completely different tool with unique features.
Advantages of clubbells
- The fact that it is a cylinder and lineal means that the weight is condensed in a line. Unlike the kettlebell, which distributes the weight throughout its width, which is harder to handle in certain exercises.
- In addition, it allows a more comfortable neutral grip than the kettlebell, although we cannot do a prone grip.
- The fact that it is so long separates the weight from the grip, making it more difficult to control it.
Guess which one is going to require more strength… Exactly! The clubbell.
Why use clubbells?
Because they are just another accessory.
Strengthening the Core
Due to the dynamic nature and the constant need of stabilizing the clubbell, we need to engage the core. Therefore, we will not lose the tension of our balance and we will not fall in every single movement.
Controlling our breathing
We will be able to control the movement of the clubbell in both phases of the movement with the Valsalva and/or brace maneuvers.
Thanks to its design, we can perform specific exercises, specially those that involve the rotation of the shoulder joint
Exercises with clubbells
The exercises that you can do with clubbells are the same as any other accessory. In fact, they are specific movements similar to the ones you can do with a kettlebell.
Pendulum movements that take advantage of the weight displacement in order to produce inertia, without stopping.
They are swings but we stop the inertia of the movement at some point. For example, we do a lateral swing but stop the clubbells when they reach the height of our eyes.
The shoulder joint makes circles, taking advantage of the inertia.
These three movements are used in weightlifting competitions, but instead of doing them with a barbell, we can use clubbells.
Presses, a jerk is a press.
Transverse plane circumductions and shoulder joint rotations that help us work the eccentric control of the clubbell.
The main advantage of clubbells over other accessories is our ability to work on the eccentric control of the movement during ballistic exercises. Moreover, it also helps to control the accessory in static positions that require stabilization.
Workout Routine with Clubbells
The truth is that we have been looking thoroughly and there is no clubbell federation or anything similar.
However, there is a “world ranking”, but there is no championship where athletes gather compete against each other. In fact, they record themselves performing movements while following these premises:
First trial – Double Swipe (2 clubbells)
A repetition counts when both clubbells go completely behind the head and completely behind the knees. You can hold the clubbels or rest but not under the knees and with the feet on the ground.
Second trial – One arm alternating mil (1 clubbell)
A half repetition involves passing the central line (which refers to the body sagittal plane) on the front with the elbow blocked until it passes the central line to the other side. Finally, the clubbell should (at least partially) pass the central line behind the back.
- You can freely alternate your hands at any time.
- However, the total repetitions equal the common number of repetitions with both hands (I guess this means that you have the lowest number).
- Not more than 30 minutes of rest between the two trials.
Due to the consistency of the weight distribution, you can only compete authentic clubbells, although you can participate with any club.
Categories: 10lbs (4.5kg), 15lbs (6.8kg), 20lbs (9kg), 25lbs (11.3kg), 35lbs (15.8kg)
Well, let’s be critical.
The circuit system training® is nothing more than a commercial strategy to sell products and formation related to a specific type of training. In addition, said formation is probably taught by some who probably does not have a previous formation in order to teach this type of training.
Any maze works, you can find some at ¼ of the price from the original brand. But if you want some quality you can purchase the original ones and request a custom clubbells.
The pendulum and cast movements are interesting, the rest you can do with kettlebells or other accessories.
You can use first movements to strengthen and re-adapt the muscles that surround the waist as well as the eccentric control of the movement.
What about you? Do you think you could do more than 160 double swipes in the first trial? 😉
- The Clubbells can be a perfect accessory for Krav Maga Training.
- What is Weightlifting?.