Common Mistake and Shoulder Mobility

A Common Mistake and Shoulder Mobility

한국어 번역

The common mistake in Indian Club swinging is bad posture. Bad posture impedes shoulder mobility and stresses the body.

I frequently get asked the question, what are the benefits of Indian Clubs?


The benefit that springs to mind straight away is, Indian Club swinging will help correct your posture. The very nature of swinging clubs with good form encourages the body to be upright, however bad habits will cause problems, our collective bad posture is caused by many things like, sitting, driving, computer work, mobile phones and even activities like cycling, constantly pull us forward into a slouched position.

Our sedentary activities creates stooping, leaning forward, this is STRESS that overworks some muscle groups, and ignores others making them lazy. Indian Clubs swinging helps to straighten the back and open up the rib cage, which encourages deep breathing.

Common Mistake and Shoulder Mobility Video

If you stand straight, head upright arms down by your sides, your body adopts the gravity line for want of a better expression, which goes through the centre of your body. The gravity line is important because it helps us to RELAX and makes our body working as nature intended, pushing up against gravity.

Next time you see a four or five-year-old child, check them out and see how they stand.

Common Mistake and Shoulder Mobility

If you stoop on the other hand, with your head and shoulders leaning forward, this position adds STRESS to your body by overloading numerous muscle groups and making others lazy if they are not corrected. The good news is that all this can be corrected.

Standing straight is relaxing – Stooping stresses the body

When I was a Kid

My mum and dad would frequently make me place a book on my head. They would say “Stand up Straight”. You should try this for yourself, put small book on your head and stand straight up, and then lean forward and see how the book’s falls off your head. You can stand relaxed with a book balanced on your head, however lean forward creates stress and the book falls to the floor.

Indian Club exercises can really help in re-educating your body, to stand straight and stand relaxed.


RELAXED position, good form standing straight and reaching high, taking deep breaths.

A common mistake and shoulder mobility high elevation

STRESSED position, bad form due to leaning forward, preventing a high swing and the ability to breathe properly.

A common mistake and shoulder mobility low elevation


I have reached this conclusion from my observations of students during workshops, at first I put it down to laziness and nothing else. Then it dawned on me that some students need to be instructed and learn how to stand straight and relaxed without stressing their body by leaning forward.

Avoid and get rid of bad habits due to our combined sedentary lifestyle that makes us lean forward, do not train in a STRESSED position.

In a nutshell, standing straight and training with Indian Clubs whilst you maintain an upright position is and should be RELAXED. Your body will thank you for it.

I don’t think any of us want to adopt the nursing home frame and push shuffle


The following exercises are intended for people who may have difficulty lifting their arm above their shoulder, or the experience some form of pain or stiffness. You should consult a medical practitioner before commencing any of these exercises, and you’re more than welcome to ask your practitioner if these exercises are suitable for you.

These exercises are also excellent for you if you are new to club swinging, as they will give you an idea of the movements required, and can be used to stretch prior to swinging Indian Clubs.

Quadruped Rocking

This exercise is performed on all fours and stretches your shoulders without having to lift anything. You can work on your overhead range of motion by rocking backwards. Gravity is helping your overhead range of motion by pushing the entire back down.

A common mistake and shoulder mobility Quadruped Up A common mistake and shoulder mobility Quadruped-down

Supine Slides

The supine position is a position of the body lying face up. Bend your legs, and keep your back flat on the ground, do not arch your back.

Start with the elbows bent, move your hands to the ground by your shoulders, palms must face one another. Keep them slightly away from your head. Slide your hands along the ground reaching above your head, straightening your arms, and then move back to the starting position.

A common mistake and shoulder mobility Supine in A common mistake and shoulder mobility Supine out

Pendulum Circles

Stand and hold onto your knee with one hand. Bend forward at the waist and bend your knees to help protect your back. Relax your the other arm, let it hang limp. Relax your shoulder blade and let it drop. Keeping your shoulder relaxed, swing your arm in small circles, change direction of circles from outward to inward. Then repeat on the other side.

A common mistake and shoulder mobility Pendulum


Marching or walking with your arms straight pivoting at the shoulder. Swinging with your arms straight when you walk, simply makes you work harder and you have to put in more effort, and prepares the shoulder girdle for club swinging.

A common mistake and shoulder mobility Marching

Half Circle


Stand feet together, heels touching one another, toes slightly apart, both clubs hanging down by the side, body perfectly erect, head well up, chest out, shoulders well down. Now with straight arms raise the clubs sideways above the head, then down sideways with straight arms to the starting position by the legs.


Body position as above. With straight arms raise the clubs to the front above the head, and then down in the same way to the starting position by the legs.

Quarter Circle


Feet together. With straight arms raise the clubs sideways until both arms and clubs form a horizontal line, down sideways to the starting position by the legs.


Feet together. Raise the clubs to the front with straight arms until they are in a horizontal position, then down to the starting position by the legs.

Core activation with Single Club circles with a 45 degree turn

A common misconception is that club swinging only works your arms. This exercise shows you that your core engages during a club swing.

Stand facing forward, hold a club in your right hand, move your left hand onto your waist and find the space between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your hip. Keep your left hand in this position. Raise the club in your right hand up to the Y position and then swing down towards the floor, as the club passes your feet and begins to rise to your left, make a 45 degree turn with your shoulders, and keep your arm straight. You will feel you core tension with your left hand. Carry on on the upward path of the club, once the club reaches the Y position your core will relax.

Standing straight and training with Indian Clubs whilst you maintain an upright position is and should be RELAXED. Your body will thank you for it.

 Click here to read Korean translation

 My thanks to Jeong Heon Oh for translating.

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Meet the Author

Paul Taras Wolkowinski

INDIAN CLUBS and how to use them. Traveling, researching and studying old books and manuals, has played a major part in my re-discovery of the Art of Indian Clubs Swinging. I practice four disciplines, Indian Clubs, Persian Meels, Gada Mace and Indian Jori Clubs. I have discovered a fascination for this form of exercise that has grown with proficiency. This website is dedicated to help you discover how to use Indian Clubs for exercise and fitness.

2 comments… add one
  • Mark Hogan Dec 10, 2015, 11:40 am

    Great explanations Paul. As one who has spent the last year healing my right shoulder there is a world of truth on this page. Today I tried the marching swings while walking and on the stairs. It was very beneficial, and feels good in the shoulders.
    The pendulum is a rehab exercise right out of surgery and the others are variations of the therapy I went through.
    Teading this adds a real reason to try and use the slow swinging.
    More later

    • Paul Taras Wolkowinski Dec 10, 2015, 7:54 pm

      Thanks Mark, I decided to start walking on a daily basis, about a year ago. Then I had an email from a guy who could not raise his arms over his shoulders. During one of my walks I realised that if you hold your arms straight, you start to march almost military style. The pivot at the shoulder activates, and you can really push yourself. A huge bonus for shoulder health and club swinging. Always look forward to your comments. All the best. Paul

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