Strength and conditioning have been around for decades. Training to become better at the sport you love is an almost daily activity for growing athletes. Using the conventional tools of the trade such as the barbell and dumbbells are great but they can also because extremely mundane, that is unique fitness tools play a role. Tools like battle ropes and indian clubs.
They are efficient, and they work, but for an athlete doing the same thing every day, you may find that they are not inspired to come into the office every day if you know what I mean. Keeping your athletes motivated and ready to can be a difficult task because many of the tools on this list are going to require you to be inspired to learn yourself. If you are willing to learn new techniques and the uses of new tools than your athletes are going to benefit significantly in turn.
Unconventional fitness is a new trend. The macebell is arguably at the forefront of this trend. It’s a homage to the weapon used in the middle east. A staff with a weight on end users to punish enemies. It can be swung a myriad of different ways. It’s a fantastic tool for shoulder stability and strength. It will also create thoracic spine mobility.
The macebell is also a great grip enhancer as well. These tools are very versatile. They can be used just like a dumbbell. They teach great anti-rotation. The majority of the weight of the mace is in the head of the tool which causes one side of the body to hold tight while the other must be in motion. It is an excellent tool for stability across the core. This in itself is going to be great for every athlete.
The mace can also be used as a sledgehammer. As previous articles have stated using a sledgehammer is a great tool for increasing many aspects of athletic performance. All of those benefits come with the Macebell.
Indian clubs are a very unconventional fitness tool to the west. They have been used for thousands of years in Indian culture, however. Wrestlers in India use them a great deal to increase there grip, and shoulder strength. Indian clubs are a great builder of rotational force. They’ll take some time to learn how to use them, but once you get the hang of them, they can be fun. They can be used in a variety of ways.
Indian clubs bring the creativity out of the athlete. They also come in a wide range of weights as well. The weight selection is going to determine the movements being done. However, the Indian clubs work best on long timed sets. Great for increasing your bodies work capacity in the shoulders. Indian clubs are also an excellent tool for getting out of your head. They are low impact so they can be done daily and they are a great form of movement meditation.
Filling a bag with sand has been done for centuries. However, we can use them as a fitness tool. The fluid nature of sand makes a sandbag very awkward to control. They can are excellent for fitness. Many mainstream fitness tool manufacturers have figured this out and sold the bags for use. You can quickly, however, make your own with a duffle bag and some sand. It does not matter how you get them. They are great for loading movements and even more so for carrying. Training with a sandbag is a great tool for full body fitness.
They will challenge almost all athletes are they are awkward to get the hang of. They will train angles of your athletes they did not realize they had. Much like all of these tools on this list.
This may not be the most unconventional fitness tool on this list, but it is unusual enough to the point many athletes and coaches still do not use them or more importantly know how to use them. The kettlebell can do everything a dumbbell can do plus its myriad of separate benefits. The kettlebell snatch is my favorite movement for athletes. It requires a level of strength and conditioning that is hard to get from conventional methods. The kettlebell swing is said to be the best movements for explosive power in developing athletes. I tend to agree with that statement as long as it is appropriately taught as well as the load being prescribed correctly as well.
The kettlebell is a fantastic tool for all athletes and coaches to learn because you can get a great deal of work done with a load that is safe. The only downside to kettlebells is the amount of knowledge and experience one should have when using the tool. I would not say it is a useful tool for a beginning coach to start throwing at his or her athletes without first having a least the basic down themselves. The last thing you want to do is get your athletes injured.
Battle ropes have come along the way regarding being noticed as well. We have spoken about this tool before on this blog, and my opinions toward it are not hidden. Battle ropes can be cheap, easy to use, and most of all fun. It is a thick rope that is used in a variety of different ways.
It is the single best upper body conditioning tool I can think of. You can get a fantastic upper body conditioning workout in with battle ropes without even using your legs once. For days where you feel like the lower body could use some time to recover but you also need to get some conditioning work in then do not hesitate to use this. Battle ropes are easy to learn with a growing list of exercises that can be done on them. They are safe for athletes to use because they are so low impact on the athlete’s joints.