Beginner Guide for Indian Clubs

Without proper movement, there is no strength. Indian clubs favor mobility from the shoulder girdle, solid coordination from every finger, and progressed speeds. Just like the kettlebell swing is the center of the kettlebell universe— the club mills are at the center of the indian club universe. So if club mills look ratchety and not fluid — it will be no surprise your strength will be compromised when moving onto heavier loaded modalities like steel clubs. It is key to find your path FIRST (going slow) with each indian club drill to better groove them in your nervous system. This is why practicing them before every workout will ensure your movement patterns are progressing. Not only that, but they are the perfect tool for warm ups if you have been sitting with slouched shoulders all day or had a tough workout the day before to get loosened up from soreness.

While indian clubs are simple, it’s no surprise when looking them up online you’ll see nothing but a bunch of enthusiasts swinging them all over the place with VERY little control and are more so showing off with zero instruction on how to use them. I don’t care if a fit guy is doing a bunch of cool movements with indian clubs with music playing in the background. The “monkey see, monkey do” way will not work. It’s why when I first discovered them I learned HOW to use them first before I ever coached a student. This is what makes my video tutorials better to give you the right idea about any tool and that’s what were going to focus on in this indian club beginner guide.

Indian Club Weight Recommendations:

Psychical Therapist, Gray Cook, states “these are NOT heavy — they’re fast.” So this means the faster you swing them…the heavier they feel. Indian clubs should be no heavier than 1-2lbs for the warm ups. Indian clubs look just like mini baseball bats and are either made of wood or polyurethane. They should be bought in pairs at the same weight. Personally, I love wooden indian clubs because of their smooth finish — it relaxes the hands to better groove into faster speeds. The only con is, they aren’t cheap. The average cost for a pair of wooden indian clubs will run you $100+. If you’re on a budget, a polyurethane indian club pair with run no higher than $30-50.

Indian Club Mill Drills - Singles & Doubles:

Below are two videos I’ve put together to better educate and coach you on how to utilize indian clubs into your workout routine. The beginner level works with singles and the advanced works with doubles. Beginners should learn indian club mills with a SINGLE indian club first to find out which side of the body compensates most with lack of mobility (which is normal). Having a separated left shoulder in the past, it needed more time and reps than my other shoulder. Working with singles also teaches basic positions like the front rack and side cast for when to relax and tense your grip so the mills flow better. Rushing into double mills will only build your bilateral imbalances even more. So please move on to the advanced level once your beginner skills feel solid. Please remember with any drill…find your path first (going slow) and THEN add speed.

Bonus Indian Club Mobility Drills:

Since a majority of the beginner drills we covered above are more about mobilizing the shoulder girdle I also wanted to show some other favorites that involve using the entire body more with the indian clubs. Here are 3 of the 30 indian club drills I feature in my GADA Club ebook:

So if you’re a fitness enthusiast that would like to know more indian club drills like these — be sure to check out my ebook GADA Club: Guide for Indian & Steel Club Strength Training. It has educational, private hyperlinked video tutorials with 40 workouts broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels with over 130+ exercises.

If you’re a fitness professional wanting to integrate clubs more into your coaching business I also have an online course certification partnered with KIPS called Foundations Of Club Training. It’s an entire curriculum I’ve put together for fitness coaches on HOW to coach them for any client with back/shoulder issues, senior fitness, develop workout programs, and in-depth video content to get you indian & steel club certified with accredited CEUs. For more info to sign up — CLICK HERE.

Ian Vaughn