Gym mallet

One of the most unlikely tools in our arsenal of fitness equipment is the mallet. Surprisingly, the manual work tool doubles up as an excellent full-body muscular endurance exercise, a great power developer, a very effective weight management method, and a way to increase aerobic and anaerobic endurance. In terms of cost, effectiveness, and versatility, mallet training is a great addition to almost any training program.

Let’s look at the reasons mallet training is so good …

1) Swinging a mallet is a full body activity. Swinging the sled uses almost all muscle groups … the muscles in the forearms are used for grasping, the latissimus dorsi muscles of the back are used in the downward phase of a hit, while the deltoid muscles around the shoulders are used they use on the return. to the top position. The core, including the rectus abdominis and obliques, works very hard in the downswing phase of mallet swings alongside the hip flexors. And even your legs get involved as they have to keep you anchored to the ground. It would be difficult to find a muscle group that is not involved in swinging the sled!

2) Multiple fitness components can be trained with one sledgehammer. By using a variety of rep and set schemes (discussed later), it is possible to target power, muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and anaerobic conditioning. Regardless of your goal, hammer training is probably a nice addition to your current training routine.

3) Training with Sledgehammer is very profitable. Many of you will have a mallet in your basement or garage, but even if you do have to go buy a special one for exercise, they are very reasonably priced and easy to come by. My hammer came from a regular DIY store and cost $ 35 or around £ 16.00 and is highly unlikely to wear out. For an eye-catching surface, I like to use an old SUV tire that I picked up for free from a local tire dealer. Most tire dealers are happy for you to take an old tire as they have to pay for it to be collected.

4) Training with a mallet is fun! You can hit something as hard as you can, as many times as you want with no legal ramifications! It’s a great way to shake off the frustrations of the day, leaving you calm and relaxed after your workout. It is very therapeutic!

5) The techniques are very easy to learn. Swinging the mallet is a natural movement that is quickly mastered. It is a very instant workout that, while simple, can be as demanding as you make it.

6) Mallet training is great for losing fat. Any hammer training will burn a lot of calories, but probably the best way to get the most out of your hammer training is to use intervals. Interval training is probably the most efficient and effective method available for fat loss and you perform consistent cardio almost every time in calorie consumption tests. Due to COPD (what we used to call oxygen debt), your body will not only burn a lot of energy during a hammer workout, but it will also continue to burn energy at a high rate long after you’ve finished your workout. It’s like getting two workouts for the price of one! Combined with a calorie-controlled diet, mallet intervals are a great way to shed a few pounds while toning and strengthening your entire body.

Team …

Clearly, you will need a mallet. You can pick one up at a regular DIY store for a very fair price. In terms of what weight to buy, I suggest anywhere from 6 pounds for lighter athletes and those looking to swing at a higher cadence to 15 pounds for larger athletes or those looking for a slower cadence. I am an experienced and fairly advanced athlete and I use primarily a 10lb hammer and recently started using a 14lb hammer and never found my hammer lighter to provide an easy workout.

For striking surfaces you have a couple of options. As mentioned earlier, an old tire is a great goal. A tire will absorb some of the impact from the impact, thereby reducing noise, hand / wrist impact, and causing the hammer to bounce slightly to help establish a good rhythm. This is my preferred impact surface and the one you will see in the video that accompanies this article. Alternatively, you can choose to use your hammer outside, where you can have access to a sand pit, dirt area, an old log stump, or something similar. There is nothing wrong with any of these surfaces, as long as they have a “little stretch” that will reduce the impact you will feel when using the hammer. I used my hammer on a deserted beach which worked fine, except I ended up with a light layer of sand on my sweaty head!

Whichever surface you choose for your mallet training, always make sure you have plenty of room around you and headroom and that the surface you are hitting has some “give in.” Hard surfaces such as concrete or cement are not recommended.

If you are using your hammer for a lot of reps, I also suggest a sturdy pair of gloves. I wear basic work gloves that I bought for around $ 10 to avoid blisters; however, if I’m doing sets of 20 hits or less, I often don’t wear my gloves and have had no ill effects.

Balancing techniques …

Swinging the hammer is not technically demanding, but it does require some coordination. It is important to have good technique before going crazy with the hammer; otherwise, there is the possibility of serious self-injury. There are a few “schools of thought” when it comes to hammer swinging, they all work well and it’s really a matter of personal preference which one to choose. In the attached video, you will see the following swinging techniques … front left hand, front right hand, alternate hands, and “no choke” where both hands are held near the end of the hammer handle. In addition, you will also see me standing on the ground and also on top of the tire, which offers a unique challenge for more advanced athletes …

Routines …

Here are some suggested methods to get the most out of your hammer training. Be prepared to scale the listed workouts to meet your individual needs and goals. Make sure you warm up well before your workout, and also start slowly, increasing volume and intensity gradually to avoid unnecessary pain or potential injury.

Timed intervals Decide on a work-to-rest ratio (eg, 2 minutes of work, 1 minute of rest) and repeat the desired number of sets. One of my favorite interval schemes is 3 minute stroke (left hand up), 1 minute break, 3 minute stroke (right hand up), 1 minute break, 3 minute alternating hand up. This scheme provides an excellent ending to a regular workout or is a good independent mini-session when time is short. Regardless of the set / rep scheme you select, just be sure to work very hard during the “on” periods and you will find interval training to be a very effective and time efficient training method.

The length of your work / rest intervals is highly dependent on the goal …

  • Shorter sets, for example less than 20 seconds, are excellent for developing maximum strength and therefore increasing muscle power.
  • Medium length sets are ideal, for example 45 – 90 seconds is ideal for improving muscular endurance and anaerobic conditioning.
  • Longer sets, for example 2 minutes or more, are best suited for developing aerobic fitness and muscular endurance.

tabata intervals The Tabata Method is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, a sports scientist at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan, and is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) protocol that has been used with success by the team. Japanese Olympic speed skating among others to improve aerobic and anaerobic conditioning through very short workouts.

During his 1997 study, Dr. Tabata compared the effects of longer, lower intensity exercise with short bouts of very high intensity exercise. Using a unique interval training method, the athletes who participated in the study increased their aerobic fitness by 14% and their anaerobic fitness by 28% in just 8 weeks! It’s worth noting that the subjects Dr. Tabata used for the tests were already accomplished athletes and not just beginners, which makes this study even more surprising. Even more incredible is the fact that the actual total training time per week was an incredible 30 minutes.

The Tabata method involves performing 8 to 10 20-second sets of very high intensity exercise separated by 10-second recovery periods, giving a total training time of 4 to 5 minutes. The caveat of the Tabata Method is that all intervals must be performed at 100% intensity, an absolute effort. You have to live to do as much work in each 20 second interval as possible and try to maintain that work rate for all 8-10 sets. The old adage that you can train long and easy or short and hard has never been truer than when the Tabata Method is described! As with any type of exercise, the Tabata Method should be preceded by a proper warm-up for 5 to 10 minutes and followed by a cool-down of similar duration. Overall, the session could take as little as 15 minutes … perfect for anyone short on time but still wants to get great results from their training.

Repeat intervals With this system, instead of using time as our measure of work, you will use repetitions. For example, you can do 20 strokes and then rest 30 seconds and repeat as many sets as you like. Another one of my favorite sessions involves doing 20 strokes every minute for 10-15 minutes. Each set takes between 35 and 45 seconds allowing 15 to 25 seconds to rest before starting the next set. The beauty of sets that start at the minute is that you only need to be able to see the hand of a watch, so there is no need to press buttons or set intervals on a stopwatch.

Timed Density Blocks Allot a block of time, say 5 or 10 minutes and try to hit as many strokes as possible in the allotted time. Whenever this workout is repeated, you should strive for more reps than the last time.

timed reps Just set yourself a repetition goal and try to complete it in the shortest time possible, for example 300 swings, 500 swings or even 1000 swings. Every time you repeat this workout, you must live to do it faster than before.

Hammer and Calisthenics Combinations Alternate hammer movements with independent bodyweight exercises, such as squats or lunges, as seen in the last part of the video. This ensures your lower body gets a good workout alongside your upper body and is a great way to get a lot done in a short time.

As I’m sure you can see, mallet training is a very versatile training method that can be adapted to a host of training goals, so why not give it a try? I’m sure you will find it fun and effective.

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