The latest piece of fitness equipment on the market will give you a total-body workout in just five exercises
Meet the steel mace, your new fitness BFF. You'll feel very Xena: Warrior Princess working out with this new exercise tool, but luckily, it's not as scary as it sounds (read: no spikes involved). The long, unbalanced bar made its fitness debut in the past year and now instructors are getting certified to incorporate it into fresh total-body workouts across the country. "The steel mace is a great tool because it weighs as light as seven to ten pounds, but can still challenge someone of both beginner and advanced fitness levels," says Grant Weeditz, trainer at Anatomy 1220 in Miami.
How? Keeping your grip close to the weighted ends makes movements less difficult, and simply shifting your grip towards the end of the mace handle will make movements harder, explains Weeditz. If you have some experience with strength training, a 10-pound mace is a great place to start ($40; onnit.com). (Did we mention how cool this workout looks? Brush up on these 5 Ways to Be a Badass Athlete while you're at it!)
Unlike strength training with dumbbells or weighted body bars, the mace gives you more freedom to move around and create a flow of individual movements, creating continuous motion from one rep to the next and giving you a cardio workout in addition to a strength workout. Ready to channel your inner warrior?
Top, Under Armour; Bottoms, Sweaty Betty; Sneakers, New Balance.
How it works: Squat, hinge, push, pull, and rotate your way through these five exercises.
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. Switch Squat
Start holding the mace parallel to the floor with a shoulder-width grip—hand near weighted end is underhand and hand away from weighted end is overhand.
Lower into a squat position, chest up, elbows pulled back, and hold mace in line with belly button.
Stand up from the squat and slide the hand furthest from the mace sphere up to meet the other hand, holding mace so it is in a vertical position.
Descend into a squat with the weighted end in the other hand. Ensure both hands stay in constant contact by sliding them across handle during transitions.
Hold the mace with a double overhand grip, shoulder width apart. Tilt forward with chest forward and lifted, butt back.
With elbows close to your sides, pull the mace back, keeping it flat. Hold in the up position.
Keeping lower body locked into place, press the un-weighted side of the mace across your body, rotating until the mace is nearly vertical. Return to start. That's one rep.
1 per side
3. Ballistic Lateral Lunge Switch
Hold mace in a vertical "prayer" position with feet wider than hip-width apart and toes pointed slightly outward.
Shift weight to one side while lowering mace sphere to the opposite side. Slide other hand to end of handle.
Reverse back to the prayer position and shift to the opposite side. That's one rep. Alternate from side to side until completing 5 reps on each side.
4. Uneven Push-up
Start in a push-up position placing the mace sphere under left hand.
Perform 6 push-ups, then roll mace and place under the other hand. Perform 6 more push-ups. Repeat left with 4 push-ups and right with 4 push-ups.
5. Offset Crunch
Lay flat on the floor holding mace overhand and away from body. The leg opposite of the mace sphere is lifted straight up.
Locking arms completely to fully engage core, crunch abdominals while rotating weighted end toward the leg in the air. Return to start. Switch legs and direction of the mace.
1 per side