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Become a Workout Warrior with the Best Steel Maces

Swing into a new training routine with these heavy-hitting fitness accessories.

thee different steel maces
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When involved in strength training, there's something primally satisfying about moving heavy weight. The rush of adrenaline from lifting a massive deadlift or bench pressing a new PR keeps us hungry for more and more progress. Functional strength equipment, like kettlebells, can also provide that warrior-like boost as you swing and press those primitive instruments for set after heart-pounding set.

Steel maces — or macebells — are another fantastic fitness accessory, providing an asymmetrical load that can target multiple muscle groups for a truly dynamic routine. With looks that harken back to the days of the caveman, these elongated clubs can be the perfect ingredient for total-body training. However, not every macebell hits with the same gusto. Here are our picks for the best steel maces to add to your fitness regimen.

The Benefits of Training with Steel Maces

Much like the aforementioned kettlebells, the benefits of training with steel maces lies in the equipment's unbalanced structure. The weight is concentrated at the balled end of the shaft, while you grip the functional fitness accessory along the knurled handle. Controlling this unbalanced weight requires multiple muscle groups to work cohesively, making macebells optimal for dynamic training.

Additionally, macebell exercises can help you improve grip strength as you clasp onto the knurled handle throughout the prescribed exercises. Your forearm flexors and extensors are constantly challenged as you work through different modalities, and the overall thickness of the steel mace lends itself to better grip training.

Lastly, because of the dynamic composition of macebell exercises, training with these fitness accessories can also double-up as a form of cardio. When flowing through movements, your heart will increase, giving your workouts a, ahem, double-edged sword approach.

What to Look for When Choosing a Steel Mace

When searching for a steel mace to add to your exercise routine, the first factor to consider is the equipment's weight. Macebells range from 5–30 pounds, typically, but don't think you need a heavier weight to push your training progress. The unbalanced nature of macebells puts a different strain on your body, and if you're brand-new to the discipline, a lightweight model could be more than a challenge. A good starter weight is around 10 pounds.

Next, you want to look at the grip featured on your steel mace. Most macebells feature a diamond knurling, similar to a standard barbell. This is designed to dig into your palms for better weight security.

Lastly, the most durable macebells are made of steel and cast iron, but there are rubberized and plastic options available. While these options can be cheaper, we'd recommend going for the more durable metal silhouettes.

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How We Tested
three different steel maces
Ben Emminger

To see which steel maces hit the mark for premium functional fitness, we swapped out our traditional kettlebell exercises for macebell training. As we worked through the varying modalities targeting our core, shoulders and other muscle groups, we took note of how well each steel mace felt in our hands. Features like knurling, coating and overall aesthetics played a role in the curation of this list. Now, let's dive in and see which maces landed with the most impact.

Editor's Note: Unless otherwise noted, the prices shown represent steel maces weighing 10 pounds. A 10-pound macebell is a great starter weight for anyone looking to add this form of functional fitness to their repertoire.

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