Indian Clubs for Stronger Shoulders and Abs

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What Is The Secret?

Ladies and gentleman, I have a confession to make. I often get asked questions about my physique and how I’m able to maintain such a lean and defined body.

First of all, to those of you who have complimented me, thank you. Secondly, I’m about to let you in on one of my biggest and best-kept secrets… Indian clubs. Those, and a package of Oreos right before bed every night. Just kidding! Don’t even think of going down that road or I’ll find you and make you wash my car!

The Sandwich Theory

Unless you’ve led an extremely sheltered life, I’m sure you’re familiar with these gooey substances called peanut butter and jelly. By themselves, they taste good. And they taste even better if they are organic and have no artificial contaminants in them. However, by themselves they’re also sort of, well, meh… especially jelly. Sure you can shotgun a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter no problem and not even quiver a single eyebrow hair. But when was the last time you stuffed a golf-ball-sized lump of jelly down your gullet? Ummm… probably never, because you and I both know something’s just not quite right about that. It’s sort of like dating your third cousin.

The missing element here is two slices of sprouted bread, which are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. NOW you’ve got yourself a sandwich partner! And not to mention, one heck of a wholesome, delicious snack I might add! Well, for me, Indian clubs act like the bread that houses the peanut butter and jelly. They bring it all home, and without them, my workouts would be just, meh…

Fool’s Gold

Nerf Herder has this song called Easy Mark where they say, “Yeah he’s gonna make a fortune, panning gold out of a bottle of Goldschlager, shot by shot by shot.” There are two things that stick out in my mind about this lyric. First of all, the guy is doing a lot of unnecessary work for no reward. Secondly, he’s never going to get rich because he’d need to spend a million dollars on Goldschlager to pan enough gold out to even make a few bucks. Do the math!

The debate whether Goldschlager has actual gold in it still lives on, but there is no mistaking Fool’s Gold. Aside from being a bitchin cool song by Fitz and the Tantrums, it’s also something you think is good and valuable. But in reality, it’s nothing more then fluff. Something that is NOT fluff is Indian clubs and the effect they have on your shoulders and abs. And be advised that they do much more than that, but for the sake of this article, I’m going to address how they help me and how they can also help you.

Shoulder the Load

First things first, let’s address the shoulders. YOUR shoulders to be more specific. Slamming your sockets over and over again, while hoisting monstrous-sized weights over your head isn’t exactly going to give you much in the way of comfort. Throw in a metric ton of kipping pull-ups and your joints should be good and ground up like a pile of stale Gaines Burgers. I’m sitting here in pain just thinking about it.

I steer way clear of this type of training. Instead, I focus on lifting moderate-sized weights that I know I can handle with crisp, clean form. And honestly, I rarely even touch a barbell because I don’t like the idea of my hands being married to a fixed position. This then translates right to my shoulders. If they happen to be tight on the way up on a military press, for example, a compensation will ensue. If my hands don’t have the privilege to move freely, damage will be done at the expense of my shoulders. I happen to love the way they currently work so I opt for other means to strengthen them, such as the use of kettlebells, dumbbells, Indian clubs, meels and maces.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against barbell training. And I know a lot of you reading this right now would love the chance to argue with me about their benefits. But I’m a lover, not a fighter. And life is too short to waste time in conflict. You do you and I’ll do me. If you can execute 90% quality with your training and you don’t pulverize your shoulders, then my hat goes off to you. Let’s meet up and discuss it over a nice organic, chocolate stout.

All that being said, I always integrate Indian club patterns between each set, regardless of the medium I use to work my shoulders. This keeps them loose, it speeds my recoveries and it improves my range of motion. Hopefully you see where I’m going with this. I’m no different than you. If I can get these benefits, don’t you think you can too?


As for my abs, here’s where Indian clubs come to the table. Whenever you stand upright and swirl the clubs, you need to keep your abs engaged. If you remember me mentioning tension in the past, here’s a good example of it. You maintain tension to maintain good posture and in turn, get an ab workout from a standing position. Although I don’t advocate using heavy clubs when you first start out, you WILL get more load on your abs the heavier you go. But you need to earn your way there.

Then you don’t have to lie on your back and do sloppy crunches and risk lower back pain to get your midsection swell on. You can stand tall and be proud like you just one the Kentucky Derby.

Aside from blending the clubs into your weight training routines, feel free to integrate them in with circuit workouts. This is where I”ll often go with my heavier clubs. I’ll finish a set of one-arm kettlebell swings, then do 200 jumps with my weighted jump rope and then I’ll grab my 3-lb Indian clubs and mash a few patterns together. They fit perfectly and work seamlessly.

Summing it Up

Before I bid you adieu, put this last remnant of advice in your trouser pocket. If you spin clubs once every hour or two hours, by the end of the workday, you can accumulate yourself quite a bit of workload. You might hear this referred to as saturation training, but there’s no need for us to get fancy. Let’s stick to the basics–practice regularly and you will achieve great results.

And since we just mentioned the word “spin,” ponder this thought… When you do those fun spin classes that you love so much, you destroy your posture from all that slouching while trying to power through high-intensity intervals. Not even Lady Gaga playing at 120 BPMs can spare your upper body from the dysmorphia it’s in for. I highly suggest you learn how to use Indian clubs as soon as you’re done reading this. Then you can bring them to spin class, the gym in general, work and on your next trip to Atlantic City.

If you need help learning how to use Indian clubs, then give me a shout and I’ll get you dialed in with further details. If you’re looking to purchase a pair of good 1-pounders, I suggest MotionRX, which are great for beginners. Remember, start small and grow tall. All you need are 1-lb clubs to reap all the benefits they have in store.

Until next time, my name is K/Rail. I tell it like it is and say it like I see it.

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