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Scapular Mobility and the Indian Club

Last Saturday was a cracking day. The sky was this vibrant blue colour and there was a wierd ball of fire in the sky. For us living in Ireland, it’s a very unfamiliar sight, we’re used the sky being a dull grey colour with water falling out of it…

But the Engine Room gym in Portumna, run by Steve Killeen and hos crew had made some arrangements and sorted out some real Mediterranean style weather for the Indian Clubs workshop.

Here’s a quick look (scroll across for the video clips):

A post shared by Dave Hedges (@dave_hedges) on May 19, 2018 at 2:23pm PDT

Now, many of the gathered group were involved in Kettlebell Sport, a few were Martial Artists and the remainder were just good folk interested in better fitness.

For the Kettlebell Sport and Martial Arts community, I believe the Indian Club is an invaluable tool.

Wg-Fit revolves around Kettlebell Sport and Martial Arts, so I’m fairly confident in that statement.

No tool is essential, but the clubs offer your shoulder a benefit unlike any other.

Very often when we look at rehab work for specific shoulder injuries, we place traction on the arm and begin to rotate the arm in it’s socket. We also do a lot of upper back work, looking to activate and strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, lower traps, serratus and rhomboids. Of course, this varies according to the nature of the injury.

But if we look from a preventative perspective, we can see how adding a traction force as we target all the muscles that attach to the scapula and stimulate the scapula to move in all directions can potentially be highly beneficial.

image stolen from:

A point I always make when teaching shoulder rehab, stretches and Indian Clubs that there is no one action that takes in all the muscle fibres. Just look at the image above, look at the varying fibre orientations, and this is simplified image with many of the muscles not shown. To hit all the fibres is very difficult, even in just a single muscle.

So a swinging object, that travels in a circular path has a better chance of stimulating more of the fibres.

More so than any linear motion does. Particularly for the Serratus Anterior, one of the most fascinating muscles and a huge player in shoulder health/strength

The club swinging behind the head puts and incredible stretch load into the serratus asking it to fire up in order to pull the club back. And it’s opposite numbers the Rhomboids and Lower Traps as the club swing to the front. Each rep gradually mobilising these muscles into action, reducing (if you’re conscious of it) the tendency of the upper traps to dominate all shoulder function.

I have two enquires for Indian Club workshops awaiting confirmation. If you would like to host a workshop at your gym/studio, the price of which includes a set of Pahlavandles for each participant

Pahlavandle Indian Club Handles

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Dave Hedges

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