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The Steel Mace Revolution

The Steel Mace Revolution

Written by
April 24, 2015
Updated September 24, 2018

The Steel Mace, a weapon with a heavy head on a solid shaft used to bludgeon opponents, dates back more than 10,000 years. The Steel Mace is an ancient weapon that was successfully used in the Middle Ages as a way to overcome the heavy armor that was prevalent at the time. Now, it has made it’s return as the the ultimate tool for fitness training.

The Steel Mace is a highly effective implement in full body conditioning. Whether you are looking to balance your body by introducing offset weight training, or looking to build your strength in 3-dimensional movement patterns, there are a variety of ways to condition the body with this unique tool. Both static and dynamic drills can be introduced to reinforce structural awareness. Each requiring the use of your entire body as a single, totally engaged unit.

The Steel Mace Revolution2 Hand Paddle Swing

Simply holding the Steel Mace, weighted end up, will prove difficult for the novice user. Wielding the Steel Mace steady in this vertical position requires stabilizing the tool, engaging your core and grip. Holding the Steel Mace in a horizontal position causes the weight to offset one side of the body, demanding more stabilization as well as requiring strength to maintain a neutral alignment of the spine.

I developed an addiction to Steel Mace training by exploring how it helps strengthen and improve the range of motion to the shoulders. The 360 was one of those dynamic movements that helped to open up my shoulders through a large range of motion while simultaneously demanding me to stabilize the tool. Simply pressing the Steel Mace overhead requires a push pull relationship between sides.

This called upon many big and small muscles to successfully complete each repetition while maintaining good form. The more your grip travels away from the weighted end of the mace, the more you must stabilize the tool and your body through the push-pull dynamic. Exploring these and other functions of mace training helps you understand the imbalances in various asymmetrical movement patterns.

Viking Power Steel Mace Workout


This led me to design a program called the Viking Power Mace Flow. In this program I incorporate a variety of dynamic swings, pulls, presses, tossing and stabilizing the Steel Mace in position. The goal is to avoid losing engagement anywhere in the body which might contribute to more imbalances. Staying in a neutral spine structure as part of the discipline in your training with complete activation of the body.

Using the Steel Mace in this way will help balance your training with other fitness tools like Barbells, Steel Clubs, Sandbags, and Kettlebells. Combining these unconventional tools can maximize functional strength, lean out the body, or build functional muscle mass. Since the use of the Steel Mace targets many of the imbalances that could have slipped through the cracks in other training methods, it proves to be an ideal tool to integrate into your current practice.

Onnit Steel MaceSteel Mace Key Benefits

I believe this ancient weapon has found a way to revolutionize the current industry. The Steel Mace can be a tool to help prepare you for whatever training you are doing, but can also prove to be a creative outlet once you master the basics while offering many benefits…such as:

  • Rotational Power
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Real World Strength
  • Correct Imbalances

Stringing together dynamic movements and stable positions into a flowing sequence allows you to explore your own creativity. Whether you are a sports athlete, mixed martial artist, or a fitness beginner, learning how to use the steel mace can further your strength development while providing insights into the body’s imbalances and help to address them.

Erik 'ESIK' Melland is the consummate artist. From singing to photography to graphic design and now as a fitness coach and designer of the Onnit Academy Steel Mace Certification, his artistry always shines through his work. The level of energy that Erik brings to any of his projects and to the Onnit Academy community is undeniable. We are proud to have him as our Steel Mace Master!
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