Training to music with Indian clubs is fun, challenging and offers many benefits. The repetitive patterns of club swinging can be like a tonic to the central nervous system, and help the practitioner develop better coordination, rhythm and timing. One way to make this even better, or help you as you learn how to swing clubs, is to use music.
What is rhythm and timing good for?
Rhythm, timing and coordination are overlooked in most of people’s physical training. Yet those qualities are fundamental to many skills that helped us survive as a species.
The neurological pathways which govern our movement patterns are the same which allow us to identify and interact with our environment.
Our brains have a natural rhythm which you could call our inner time keeper. That timer is what helps athletes keep control of the ball, skiers avoid obstacles, dancers keep the beat, and E-sport gamers coordinate the joystick with what’s happening on the screen.
Not only does our inner timer help coordination, but it helps social and learning cues as well. We can vouch for this from our experience of teaching Indian clubs to kids.
Reinforcing your feel for rhythm and being able to synch to it has the potential to improve your quality of life!
Don’t make this club swinging mistake
One of the key points we emphasize when we instruct people how to swing clubs is to keep a constant tempo for a given pattern. This can be hard to achieve though…
Beginners tend to rush, slowing and accelerating the clubs at different points throughout an exercise, which results in swings that are far from smooth and fluid.
It is not to say that you should never play with different speeds while swinging clubs, especially if giving a performance or doing a choreography.
But at least during your initial learning process, you should aim to be able to swing in a slow, controlled and constant tempo.
The best way to keep tempo is to sync your swings to an external cue like a beat, which can be in the form of sound or even light.
The role of training to music
Music can be used as background noise, motivation or as a guide.
It’s something we love to play with at Heroic Sport, and hope you will become curious about it too!
The connection between music and exercise is ancient, and club swinging is no exception.
Persian warriors swung clubs to the beat of the drum and while listening to spiritual stories. This tradition still endures in Iran and the modern Zurkhaneh.
In this video, you can watch an extract of a routine we developed. It is timed to a soundtrack of 70 beats per minute (bpm).
During the heyday of club swinging in Europe in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, people swung their clubs to the rhythm of music too.
Still used today
Fitness companies like Les Mills use huge resources to have each movement of their workout choreographies perfectly timed to a specific program soundtrack.
Most fitness group classes use music as a background noise, mainly for motivation and to push the intensity of the class when the music plays faster.
Training to music with Indian clubs makes perfect sense for large groups of people. As long as they know the movements, the only cue they gave to follow is the sound of it. If you search the net, you’ll find old pictures of club swinging events with several thousands of people swinging in tune. Obviously, these events were designed to display club swinging to a crowd. One cannot imagine how lacklustre such a performance would be without music…
Synching movement to music is challenging, and we absolutely recommend it for anyone, regardless you’re training alone or in a group!
“You go all the way back to rowers on the Roman galleys,” says Carl Foster, Ph. D. “The guy is sitting there beating on his drum, and he drives the basic rhythm of the rowing. Part of that is coordination—you want the rowers to row together—but part of it is that people will naturally follow a tempo. It’s just something about the way our brains work.”
To top it up, apparently, music can increase endurance by up to 15%!!
Experiment training to music with Indian clubs!
If you are willing to try swinging your clubs to the beat, go to YouTube and search for basic 4/4 drum beat loops, as shown below. Alternatively use a metronome app on your phone.
The less distractions in the music, the easier it is to keep track of the beat in the beginning. After a while, you might be able to find the beat to any song and swing along in synch.
For closed style club swinging, 70-80 bpm is a good place to start.
For light clubs, open style club swinging, look at tracks with a tempo of around 120bpm.
The video below does a great job at helping visualize different paces when training to music or a beat.