Indian clubs for Parkinson’s

Indian clubs for Parkinson's | 6 weeks study case

In 2018, Heroic Sport was invited to team up with the local Parkinson’s foundation to create the first study into the effects of  Indian club exercises for patients affected by Parkinson’s.

Health professionals were involved in the project. An independent physiotherapist came to perform tests before and after the 6 week training period. A nurse conducted qualitative interviews. She even went on to write a bachelor project about the whole project.

Could Indian club exercises improve the quality of life of the participants?

The Parkinson’s foundations of Southern Denmark and Northern Germany were granted funding through a Cross Border Interreg project. They were keen to introduce Indian club exercises  as a new training form to their members.

Presentation of the results

The 6 week project

The project had 2 main goals:

  • physical activity using a new form of training for people with similar conditions
  • developing friendship and understanding of another culture

Indian clubs were once used to train warriors, but this time it was used to unite people and cultures, rather than to divide. 

The social aspect of training together played an key role for the participants. They all reported how important it was to have a supporting partner, friend or family member involved in the project.

The training program

Heroic Sport was asked to devise a 6 week Indian clubs for Parkinson’s training program to primarily improve coordination, body control, strength and balance. The catch was that the training program should be only 10 minutes long, and still deliver results!

Participants attended 1 live group instruction session each week. The rest of the time they trained from home, by following our 10 minute video program.

Requirements and weekly goal

The goal was to accumulate 60 minutes of actual training time a week, performing 10 Indian club exercises for 1 minute each day.

The Pahlavandle™ was chosen over conventional wooden Indian clubs to perform the exercises, because of 3 important points:

  • Safety (A plastic bottle is soft compared to wood if you hit yourself )

  • Adjustable weight  (anyone can find the perfect weight for them, and add weight as they progress)

  • Affordability (20€ won’t break the bank)

Small weights were also inserted in the handles to create a sound and vibration to help with focus and stimulate grip strength.

Video documentation of training for 6 weeks Indian club exercises with Parkinson’s patients

You can check out the participants progress over the weeks, and listen to their feedback. All videos have English subtitles.

Comments from the participants

– It motivated me to take control over the training process.
– I am less stiff in my arms and shoulders.
– I can reach the top shelf in my kitchen for the first time in 5 years.
– A good process, I’ll continue at home with the training.
– My fitness has been improved, I’ve also strengthened my muscles.
– The whole project was good.
– Training with others are very motivating, and creates friendship.
– We had a good time training with the pahlavandle.
– It sparked interest in alternative training methods and Indian clubs.
– We had a safe environment to test the new exercises.

The results after 6 weeks of 10 minutes a day

As with any study, some participants fell from the project due to unexpected circumstances. Here is the data the physiotherapists could use to present the results.

Participants: 12
Average age: 68
Average years of having Parkinson’s: 9
Average total training time per week: 25-140 minutes

The tests

The physiotherapist team was shocked at the improvements they noticed from training with Indian clubs.

Push and Release (P&R)
This exercise focuses on maintaining balance when support of the back is being removed suddenly.
The fewer steps required for maintaining balance, the better. 0 steps required is best, while 4 is the worst.
Improvement after 6 weeks of training with Indian clubs = 50%

Timed get up and go (TUG)
This exercises focuses on standing up from a chair, walk  at normal speed toward a cone, 3 meters away. Time is measured with stopwatch. No requirement of speed, as long as it’s normal pace.
Improvement after 6 weeks of training with Indian clubs = 1,81 seconds / 1,8%

Sit to stand (STS)
The exercise consists of sitting and getting up from a chair 5 times. The exercise has to be done as quick as possible. Time is measured with stopwatch. The focus on this exercise is speed, and the shorter the time the better.
Improvement after 6 weeks of training with Indian clubs = 39,83 seconds / 27% (Biggest improvement = 50,2% | Lowest improvement = 3,2%)