Strength & Conditioning

Learn 7 Macebell Workout Benefits For Strength Training

macebell workout

Macebell workouts have surged in popularity in recent years, and whether you’re new to working out or a seasoned athlete, training with a mace bell offers a unique and dynamic approach to functional training. 

Combining ancient training principles with modern fitness techniques, macebell exercises offer a challenging yet rewarding full-body workout experience.

The steel macebell itself is a strength and conditioning tool that comprises of a long handle with a weighted ball welded on to one end.  

The head of the mace comes in different weight increments and the handles can vary in length.   

Recommended Reading – 10 Kettlebell Ab Exercises For An Improved Workout

It’s believed that the steel mace dates back thousands of years when it was originally used as a weapon and was much cruder in terms of its design being made from bamboo and stone.  

However, the benefits of using it as a functional fitness tool has made it popular in certain martial arts.  

In this article, we’ll delve into the world of steel mace training, exploring the benefits, a great macebell workout for beginners, and the potential for muscle growth.

Benefits of Macebell Training

Macebell training offers many benefits if you’re looking to improve strength and mobility in your entire body and boost your overall fitness. 

Let’s look at some of the key benefits of mace training:

The uneven weight distribution of the macebell challenges your grip strength, engaging the forearm flexors and stabilizer muscles throughout a steel mace workout.  

When starting out with mace training, it’s common for people to grab the handle a little too tight.  

This is usually to compensate for the lack of stability but as this improves, the grip will become relaxed and the swinging of the mace becomes more natural.  

Macebell exercises mimic real-life movements, making them highly functional for activities of daily living and sports performance.  

Swinging a mace in different planes of motion is more representative of how your body moves in everyday life.  

What’s more this swinging needs a lot of coordination in order to complete the workouts properly, this too helps to improve functional fitness.  

Typically, a macebell workout is a compound movement meaning that it’s going to recruit several muscle groups at the same time.  

This gives you the opportunity to perform a full-body workout in a single training session.  

Many macebell exercises require core stability and engagement so you can maintain proper form, leading to improved core strength.  

The uneven weight distribution of the mace keeps your core engaged throughout.  

Macebell movements help improve shoulder mobility and strengthen the shoulder girdle, reducing the risk of injury and enhancing overall shoulder strength.  

This is because many macebell exercises involve rotating your shoulders which is less common in standard barbell exercises.  

These kinds of movements help to lubricate the shoulder joint and improve the range of motion.  

Macebell exercises promote a dynamic range of motion, improving flexibility and joint mobility.  

Certain mace exercises, like the overhead swing, involve moving your shoulders through their entire range of motion.  

This helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles that surround the shoulder joint, improving flexibility and mobility.  

Proprioception is your body’s ability to sense its position in a defined space.

Mace swinging can help to improve this sense, as you need to be constantly aware of the mace’s position and movement as you swing it around your body.

This heightened body awareness is also important for functional fitness.

Macebell Workout For Full Body Training

Below are some of the best steel mace exercises along with how to do them.  

If this is your first time with mace training, start with a light mace to get used to the movements before progressing.  

The Barbarian squat is a full-body exercise that comprises of two movements, squatting and swinging the mace up overhead.  

During the squat element you’ll be working your quads and glutes, with your hamstrings and calves helping to stabilize you.  

Your core, shoulders, and upper back muscles are recruited during the movement of the macebell.  

Get into the starting position by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the macebell with both hands at chest level.  

Keep your arms extended out in front of you.  

Keeping your arms in a fixed position, push back your glutes and descend into a squat.  

Try and get as low as possible before pushing through your heels back to a standing position.  

As you ascend, you want to move your arms up and overhead taking the macebell behind you without letting it touch your bum.  

The mace grave digger is so-called due to the mimicking action of digging with a shovel.  

While this is a very functional movement it’s not often carried out by people simply because most people don’t perform manual labour in their day to day lives.  

Do it by standing with your feet at a shoulder-width distance and toes pointing forwards.  

Start with the mace just to the left of your left foot and in line with your toes.  

Squat down and brab hold of the base of the mace (just above the ball) with your left hand and use your right hand to hold on to the end of the handle.

From here imitate the action of digging by standing upright and simultaneously taking the mace over your left shoulder.  

Be sure to perform equal reps on both sides.  

Tyre slams with a mace bell are a great way of combining strength training with explosive power.  

Not only will it fire up many muscles across your body, but it’s also a great cardio workout and a fun way to relieve stress.  

Make sure you have plenty of space and access to a tire.  

If you don’t have a tire to slam your mace into, you could try without and simply stop short of hitting the ground, this adds an element of challenge to this exercise and your stabilizer muscles will have to work hard to stop the mace.  

Start by adopting a split stance while holding the mace with both hands.  

One hand should be near the base with the other hand at the end of the handle.  

Swing the mace overhead and slam it down onto the tire letting it rebound naturally.  

The mace lateral lunge is a great way of working the hip flexors and strengthening your glutes, quads, and hip abductors.  

Being pretty simply to do this is a good option for beginners.  

Start off by adopting a wide-foot stance making sure your feet are well past shoulder-width.  

Hold the mace just in front of you with a hand on either end, start with the weighted end on your right side.  

Keeping your head and chest up, bend your left knee to the side keeping your right leg straight.  As you descend, lower the weighted end of the mace so it touches the floor.  

Then push back to the starting position.  

Do it slowly to maintain control and perform the same number of reps on either side.  

While this exercise is performed in the same way as a standard military shoulder press, it’s going to feel a little different due to the offset weight load.  

Your core, especially the obliques, will work hard to help you maintain stability to the side of the weighted end.  

If you use a heavy mace, this increases the challenge.  

Standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold the mace with both hands using an overhand grip and hold it up to your shoulders.  

Keeping your elbows tucked in simply push the mace straight up and overhead until your elbows lock out.  

Make sure to keep your wrists in a neutral position throughout.  Pause briefly before lowering back to the start and repeat.  

The Mace 360 is one of the best macebell exercises for improving shoulder strength and stability as well as improving back, core, and grip strength.  

Start with a light mace but avoid this exercise completely if you have a shoulder injury.  

It’s very similar to the kettlebell halo exercise but the length of the mace makes it more challenging to perform.  

Start by standing with your feet at a shoulder-width distance and holding the mace vertically with both hands, one stacked above the other.  

Keep your elbows tucked in close to your body, the weighted end of the mace should be pointing straight up.  

Your top hand should move past and around the opposite ear, taking the mace all the way around your head in one smooth fluid action.  

Keep your grip loose as you perform this exercise.  

Can You Build Muscle with a Macebell?

While macebell workouts may not offer the same level of muscle hypertrophy as traditional weightlifting with standard barbells or dumbbells, they can still be highly effective for building strength and muscle endurance. 

Macebell exercises target a wide range of muscle groups, including the upper body, lower body, and core, making them an excellent tool for overall muscular development.

The dynamic nature of macebell movements will work your muscles in different ways, promoting muscle growth and adaptation.

What’s more, the instability caused by the uneven weight distribution of the macebell forces your muscles to work harder to maintain proper form, leading to greater muscle activation and recruitment.


Macebell training is a dynamic and effective form of strength training that offers a wide range of benefits for individuals of all fitness levels.

From improving grip strength and shoulder mobility to building muscle and enhancing overall functional fitness, macebell exercises provide a unique but highly effective workout. 

By incorporating macebell movements into your regular routine and focusing on proper form and technique, you can unlock the full potential of this excellent training tool and take your fitness to new heights.

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