T Nation


What do you guys think of clubbell exercises and have you ever used them? thanks


Bought them, used them, didn’t like them.

I think that the time you spend swinging those things around can be better spent performing the basic movements.

Incidentally, I feel the same way regarding kettlebells!

I had the joy of toying around with a pair @ a friends house a couple weeks ago.

I gotta say you can get one hell of a w/o just toying around.

If you want to build grip/forearm strength I would highly suggest them.

Some of the movements look simple, Yea, just try em’ and see.


They can be useful, in fact at the gym I attend we have some clubs that are over 60 years old the real deal if you will. Clubbells are not the start and end to training they are just a tool in your arsenal.

Great tool for building up grip strength and leverage strength. Some of the movements are very good also for building shoulder stability and loosening up tight shoulders. I like clubbells for active recovery as well.

Mike Mahler

good source of variety but great athletes have definitely been made without them. If you have the basics I’d bet they’d make a good addition

Mike is absolutely right…

They are especially helpful if training athletes with rotational emphasis in their sports…as a workout for newbies, but as recovery for more advanced lifters. Works in great combination with Sledgehammer GPP.

Bench Press does not equal home runs… ever.

Right about the home runs for sure, while on the subject I made my own club bells out of a couple old 28" little league bats filled with sand. Pretty sick for circular work.

Good work Dnic and there are several ways to make clubbell subsitutes inexpensively. I have the real ones, but using the plastic bats is a solid substitute.


DNic, were u using the cheap plastic ones or…? If so, aren’t they too flimsy to be filled w/sand? Details please

Yeah, Dnic26, I’d love details as well.

T-Nation will soon be giving away five clubbells as part of the T-Jack Reports forum. Get ready to try them out for yourself and tell the world what you think. Stay tuned.

Couldn’t you get a very similar effect playing with sledgehammers?

I realize the weight distribution is different, but basically the same idea. Sledges are cheap and come in a variety of weights… and you can change the leverage by moving your grip on the shaft.


Sledgehammer training is great but doing many of the clubbell shoulder exercises would be way too dangerous with sledge hammers. Believe me I know. I learned the hard way :wink:

Mike Mahler

The club bells I made were actually from old aluminum little league bats. I used two 28" eastons and cut the plastic top off. Luckily the little league bats are about the same size barrel and all. Filled it up with sand and glued the top back on and there I have my poor man club bells. Play it again Sports over here in Cali has old little league bats for about 5 bucks each, sand is cheap too.

what does equal homeruns? serious question. My son is a ballplayer, in HS now, will play college ball somewhere. What exercises have you found that benefit hitting?

Major Dan,

Take a look at Joe DeFranco’s site. I believe, but I’m not 100% sure, that in the Q&A section he has some tips for baseball players. If not, you could porbably post a Q to him on his site and he should respond - he seems very generous with his responses on his site.

Exercises that benefit hitting…Core Med Ball work, clubbell forearm rotations, core board thrusts, deadlifts. Make sure he is finishing his swing high enough on contact to produce back spin that makes the ball carry. Make sure he gets tons of swings too, he can have all the strength in the world, but he still has to beat the guy on the mound in front of him.

Major Dan~

The truth is that baseball is a very tough sort for the S&C world. A. the players aren’t in shape B. the demands of the sport are extreme C. Much of S&C training is linear based.

(Multi-millionaires that pull hammies left and right… hmmm. Maybe we should get off the smith machines and wobble boards and get in real shape. The sport’s demands only seem simple… they are far from it.)

The nature of the sport is tough, as it involves standing around for extended periods followed by a dead sprint… but, if the athletes were in top shape, they could handle re-warming regularly. Many b-ball players I have met and trained would fall over during a track sprinter’s warm-up.

The truth is that all core rotational work is phenom, along with any sort of grip training.

Personally, I really have found amazing progress with sledgehammer GPP. You can find a great series of articles on Davie’s site (renegadetraining.com).

Many young ballplayers come to me with forearms that look like an 11-year old girl’s. But, after a very short time swinging a sledgehammer of various weights, they quickly develop ‘cables’.

Give those articles a shot (large tractor tire and timed swings FROM ALL ANGLES) and follow the other suggestions given here for the summer. Your son may be adverse to it at first as his summer season is now, but go get a large tire and a couple light sledgehammers and he will be thanking you come next spring… and you will quickly have to buy some more sledges.

Torque is as much fluidity as it is strength… it is a measure of power. That is why Strawberry was sweet, but so was Albert Bell…

Very different ways to generate power, but both are effective… you should probably figure out which one your son is and attack accordingly.

Just some ideas for now… thsi is a good topic to rehash from time to time…

I think BM has used sledgehammer GPP with some great success… maybe he will chime in…