Every functional tool has particular characteristics, that result in unique training properties to be applied in different ways in order to reach different goals. Therefore, there are specific exercises, or movements, that are able to maximize one tool’s possibilities: if the Swing can be considered the king-exercise of the Kettlebell Training, there is no doubt that the most representative exercise for what concerns Clubs Training is the Gamma Cast.
The Si-Clubs can be used with a one-hand grip, with a two-hands grip and also with a club in each hand at the same time. Because of the characteristic difficulty in keeping the grip strength on the club, the easiest version is surely the two-hands grip: it allows indeed to start working on the lack of grip strength through the use of both hands and, at the same time, to gradually condition it in order to pass subsequently to more complex exercises with one-hand grip or with a club for each hand. As a consequence of this, we can not choose a complex exercise as the most representative one of the Si-Clubs Training, but we will go instead for one that everyone could start performing. Although there are more complete exercises than the Gamma Cast, like for example the Mill (performed with one-hand grip) or the Double Swipe (performed with two clubs), it is necessary to consolidate the familiarity with the tool through a simpler exercise, like the Gamma Cast, before being able to pass to more complex exercises. The same can be said about Kettlebell Training: even if the Snatch is the most complete ballistic exercise, in order to be able to perform it safely it is necessary to consolidate the Swing technique.
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As the “king-exercise” of Clubs Training, the Gamma Cast results to be an obligatory step for everyone who wants to integrate the Si-Clubs in their workout and to do it by building the appropriate technical bases in order to then be able to face more complex and structured exercises. Nevertheless, it is important to first guarantee a standard level of postural and biomechanical-motor skills in order to avoid an imprecise and potentially dangerous execution of the movement.
Which are the main aspects to consider before to approach this exercise?
- First of all, it is necessary an optimal Joint Mobility of the entire scapular-humeral-thoracic articulation, which is the main bio-mechanic fulcrum involved in the execution of the exercise. For those who present rigidity in this area, it is obligatory to first work on the restoration of a correct movement through free-body exercises. That is the only way to avoid irregular loads and movements in the areas of the shoulders, of the cervical spine and of the elbows (which are the main joints that get involved as compensatory fulcrums if the scapular articulation is not correctly working).
- Another essential aspect to be considered before to approach the Gamma Cast is the Stability, both of the scapular articulation, of the chest and of the entire lower part of the body. One of the main characteristics of the Si-Clubs Training is the strong decentralization of the grip with respect to the mass of the tool. This allows indeed the execution of ballistic movements in wide trajectories, but on the other side it makes highly unstable the whole body, both because of the mass decentralization and the speed reached by the tool during the exercise. Therefore, it is essential to guarantee an optimal stability both of the movement fulcrum of the exercise (the scapular articulation) and of the bearing axis of the body (the vertebral column), but also of the pelvis, and of the legs. This global stability is not only necessary to perform the Gamma Cast, but all the exercises that involve unstable tools on very wide trajectories.
Once guaranteed the base of Mobility and Stability, it is necessary to focus on some technical aspects which are essential in order to safely and effectively perform this exercise:
- Learning to manage the grip on the Si-Club by performing two easier exercises: the Swing and the Clean.
- Learning to manage the Mobility and Stability of the scapular articulation by performing two easier exercises: the Barbarian Squat and the Pendolum.
Despite being the “king-exercise” of the Si-Clubs Training, the Gamma Cast therefore requires a series of steps in order to be safely performed and to produce real benefits for what concerns physical goals. Before to approach a technical video-tutorial of the exercise, we should understand why performing this exercise could be very useful.
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Which are the characteristics of the Gamma Cast?
The Gamma Cast has unique peculiarities: once learned how to perform it correctly, you will never exclude it from your workout routines. That is because there is not another exercise with any other training tool that helps you improving at the same time the Mobility, the Stability and the Strength of the whole scapular articulation and of the upper limb, in all three plans of movement. All this while heavily working on the grip strength of the hands and on the stability of the lower part of the body and also while improving the neuro-muscular reactiveness in terms of expressing Power.
With these unique features, the Gamma Cast can be considered perfect to be combined with any other exercise, either involving the scapular articulation (like for example flat bench barbell exercises or pull-ups on the bar) or the hips and the lower limb (like the Deadlifts with the barbell), because it completes their characteristics in a positive way for the workout (in particular for what concerns the expression of the Strength on the transvers plan). In addition, also individually, the Gamma Cast can be effectively combined with other exercises with multi-directional movements: in particular, it is perfect for a combination with Lunges (in every direction), providing the possibility to create “Combo-Sets” of complete exercises for the whole body.
Whether the performer is an athlete of a specific sport or a common training enthusiast, it will be absolutely clear that the Gamma Cast, and Clubs Training in general, will considerably increase the levels of strength, power and muscular quality, and it will do it while improving the functionality of the whole scapular articulation.
On the other side, however, only through an optimal knowledge of the executive technique of the exercises with full respect of the body Bio-mechanics and of the functional training planning, it is possible to optimize the extraordinary characteristics of the Clubs Training.
by Emilio Troiano
WTA International Functional Training Academy Master Trainer
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WTA Functional Training Academy trains instructors on the use of the clubs since 2009 and, starting from April 2019, besides the classic training courses on site, it offers also the possibility to participate to the new Online training courses, with many technical/practical contents (more than 90 video lessons, ebooks and training schedules) that will allow you to specialize on the use of the clubbells in every physical context, from athletic conditioning to rehabilitation and group functional training.
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A simple tool that offers extraordinary training potential for all levels of athletic preparation and functional fitness. Training with mace bells/Si-Clubs is characterized by the multi-planarity of the movements and a strongly decentralized weight, resulting in a remarkably complete work. The weight increments, from 1 to 30 kg, facilitate total freedom of use of the equipment that can be very demanding even in the lighter weights.