With the steel mace gaining major ground not only in the unconventional fitness world, but also making a surge competitively, I am going to tell you why the mace 360° is not only the king of mace exercises but should be the first movement you learn while trying to master this ancient implement.
The steel mace is a dynamic stand alone piece of equipment in its own right. It also is a great tool to complement other types of training. Incorporating the mace into barbell or kettlebell lifting programs can pay off by providing another dimension to your training. Most of the exercises we perform are in the sagittal plane, mace work movements are in what is known as the transverse plane. This is why it is so complimentary, because we are working in multiple planes and really rounding out our weight training when using this tool.
Beyond that, the 360° offers multiple exercises all in one neat package; shoulder mobility, thoracic mobility, core stability, killer grip strength, and the super important rotational power. All of these puzzle pieces seem separate, but in fact are interdependent. Without them working together we cannot sufficiently move or generate the necessary power for proper rotation.
The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the human body. It is also the most complicated in its structure due to the amount of components. It is sometimes referred to as the shoulder girdle. Your shoulder can do so many things as long as it is moving and operating properly. For the glenohumeral or (gh) joint, known as the ball and socket, as well as the entire shoulder girdle the mace pulling or swinging is an invaluable component in shoulder health and maintenance.
The t-spine, which runs from the base of the neck to just below your shoulder blade, is another area where you need to have good mobility for postural reasons and to help generate rotational power. Again, just one component in the chain that cannot work alone. If your upper torso has one of the gears of the machine not functioning properly, one part cannot compensate for the whole system. This all leads up to the last piece of the rotational puzzle, the core. The core includes the hips, abdominals, low back and pelvic floor. You can only generate rotational power through a stable core. Not only does the core enable the rotational force it needs to be strong enough to endure the anti-rotational force.
This is why one of the two major benefits, rotational power, cannot be attained without the mobility that mace swinging/pulling promotes. You need the shoulders, t-spine, and core in good order so you can reap the rewards that the mace has to offer. Another gift from frequent mace swinging is crushing grip strength. Increased strength of the hands and wrists will help combat sport practitioners but weightlifters of every distinction, from barbell and kettlebell work to body weight enthusiasts. Just think the stronger your paws are the more weight you’ll be able to lift, and the combat guys, forget it, when it comes to grabbing and throwing grip is extremely important. These are the reasons why the mace or gada swing is king. If you are interested in swinging a mace this would be the perfect place to start your journey. The groundwork it will lay for other mace exercises and more advanced movements begins here. Please remember to first start slowly. As your technique improves you can pick up speed and increase weight. You should also remember posture and balance must remain on the top of the checklist during mace work.