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The Best New Fitness Tool for Your Arm Workouts

Written by
August 26, 2014
Updated April 12, 2018

The Onnit Steel Club is a modern take on an ancient fitness tool originating in ancient Persia. Though this newer variant’s made of a single piece of machined steel, its older counterparts were traditionally made of wood. These wooden clubs ranged in weight, size and shape to a great degree.

Due to these variances it was hard to standardize a comprehensive system that would allow someone to master these tools outside of the specific drills each design lended themselves to. Even with the lack of standardization and limited number of drills that was present in the production and use of traditional clubs, they’re used to successfully condition soldiers and combative athletes that would dominate the competition.

Getting to Know Your Steel Clubs

Whether you are new to training with clubs or a club swinging veteran it is important to consider the quality of the tools you utilize in your practice. The traditional wooden clubs are not only limited in their use by design but they can take up an inordinate amount of space to store and to swing. There are other modern designs on the market, made of multiple pieces that have the potential to fail during use. The last thing you want is a piece of equipment you are swinging around your head and over your feet to fail at a critical time!

The new Onnit Steel Club design addresses these concerns by design. Being forged from a single piece of machined steel and powder coated with a texture, Steel Clubs maximize grip without causing undue trauma to your hands. Unlike other designs, the knob at the end of the Onnit Steel Club handle is also integrated into it’s one-piece design, as opposed to being screwed on.

When all is said and done, this new design provides the greatest functionality and durability of any club design on the market. This allows for all of the traditional club swinging drills to be explored as well as providing a slim enough profile, making swinging behind the head or around the body approachable, without fear of clipping yourself. This translates into the ability to utilize the club for more advanced combination routines and flow sequences…the limitations to its use are only a function of your skill and imagination.

Why You Should Introduce Yourself to Steel Club Training

If you are looking to enhance your shoulder mobility consider exploring the Pullover series of drills in all of their incarnations. Through this exploration you will enhance your functional strength through a greater range of motion than many other tools on the market.

Upper body strength can easily be enhanced by incorporating the multitude of pressing drills that Onnit Steel Clubs allow you to explore. Each variation will place differing demands on your structure but each will require you to develop connection between your upper and lower body through the core.

Though Steel Club training is commonly thought of as a purely upper body form of exercise. The reality is that the Steel Club, is one of the most dynamic tools for lower body development. The variety of shouldered squats and lunge patterns can provide a challenging new stimulus to your body.

With the rise in popularity of kettlebells over the past decade, it is not uncommon for people to be familiar with the benefits of swinging weight. The Steel Club is a great tool for exploring not only traditional swings, but due to the slim profile of the tool and the mechanics of its grip, it also is ideal for lateral swings that few other tools provide the ability to explore safely.

Though it is easy to enhance each of these attributes by incorporating Steel Club training into your personal practice. The tool really shines as you develop proficiency in more of these fundamental skills. Once you do so, it is time to explore more complex skills that place demand on the whole body at once. The full body conditioning and body awareness that is the result of using the tool in this way is both fun and brutally effective!

John Wolf is Onnit's Chief Fitness Officer, and an expert in unconventional training methods such as kettlebell, steel club, and suspension training. With 15-plus years of experience in the fitness industry, he has worked with rehab clients and athletes of all levels. He moves like Spider Man and can deadlift more than 500 pounds any day of the week.
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