2kg & 3kg UK Persian meels

2kg & 3kg UK Persian meels

This current batch of 2kg, 3kg and 4kg meels is from repurposed mahogany. BMF uses sustainable hardwood, whether new or repurposed, for all clubs produced. This may mean your meel had a previous life in the UK that ran it’s course and has now been gloriously re-incarnated as a prize Persian meel. It may also have been freshly cut and dried for this purpose only, from a timber that is prized in this country, though considered a ‘weed’ from it place of origin. Other meels on their way are from solid chunks of walnut with individual meels weights ranging from 5kg, 7.5kg, 10kg – plus a couple of monster 15kg mils! These big fellas should be ready in April.

2kg & 5kg meels with 1kg Spalding Indian club

2kg & 5kg meels with 1kg Spalding Indian clubs

Recycled packaging… Pass it on!

Recycled packaging… Pass it on!

PSSST!

Nice to see Blue Planet plugging the concerns of #singleUsePlastic and forcing the issue into the mainstream. BMF have always kept an environmental eye on all packing for our Indian clubs, Persian meels and pushup boards.  Our policy to avoid unnecessary waste means any plastic that appears in our packing is stuff that we have received from elsewhere. Purchased packaging is paper tape and biodegradable, shredded recycled cardboard, which of course, can also be reused. Pleeease…

PASS IT ON…

reusable packaging

Anti-slip push-up boards

Anti-slip push-up boards

Quite a few people have been requesting push-up boards that don’t slip on smoother floors or carpets – so we’ve done just that. Not everyone needs the anti-slip rubber so we’ve made it an optional add-on. At checkout, simply add the service and we’ll make sure your press-up board is fitted. Our boards come in 3 styles. Premium Regular, Premium Wide and Classic (without crossbar).classic shena pushup boards in 3 styles

 

Personalise – engraved fitness

Personalise – engraved fitness

Is your purchase a gift or just for you? Either way you can now personalise your Indian clubs, meels or shena push up board with embossed/engraved initials of your choice – basic price includes 2 letters. How? Simply add Personalised Fitness to your basket. If you are choosing more than one item to be engraved, then choose the correct number of goods you wish to have engraved with the same initials. If you need different initials on different items, please order each item with engraving separately.

Harmonise shoulder rotator cuff

Harmonise shoulder rotator cuff

Indian Clubs can help the shoulder rotator cuff – whether you are an elite athlete or casual sports person, or need help with a shoulder injury.

It is easy to train visible muscles like the deltoid which provide power to raise the arm, but a little more creativity is needed in maintaining the lessor known, deeper seated muscles of the shoulder. Impact sports such as rugby as well as racket and club sports have a history of shortened sporting careers through shoulder injury. I believe much of this could have been prevented. We will soon know as a lot is being spoken now of the rotator cuff and how important it is to optimise and preserve this vital turning point in our body. Learning to understand the 4 muscles that work symbiotically, helps us realise how important range of movement and fluid usage is in keeping this joint happy and operating in an optimal way.

These muscles are small in comparison to the better known and larger muscles of the region – deltoids, lats and pecs that give power to the shoulder. However, they play critically important rolls in terms of orienting and stabilising the joint – crucial in injury prevention. they are:

  1. Supraspinatus – above the scapula attaching to the head of the humerus
  2. Infraspinatus – reaches out from below scapula to the head of the humerus
  3. Teres minor – reaches out from below scapula to head of the humerus
  4. Subscapularis – from the scapula, reaching to the front of the head of the humerus.

The first three compliment the latisimus dorsi. The fourth works with the pecs. Both groups opposingly flex and stretch during internal and external shoulder rotations.
A more in debt video illustration can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfUmN_V-28w

Indian clubs to balance the shoulder rotator cuffHARMONY OF OPPOSITES
Indian club training works on providing coordination and fluidity of the rotator cuff muscles as well as the bigger surface muscles of the shoulder ball and socket joint. ‘Heart-shape’ swings begin with a downward inner swing in front of the body that stretches the first 3 cuff muscles and their companion muscle – the lats – as the shoulder closes. This flows into a wrist rotation behind the body that opens the shoulder and compresses the same afore-mentioned muscles. Whilst these muscles stretch and compress, the opposite is happening with pecs and their companion rotator cuff muscle – subscapularis – which also compress and stretch in during the club swinging movement.
Stretching and shortening is what these muscles love to do in a dynamic and fluid way. This movement creates harmony with the large muscles working with the small muscles. A continuous yin/yang dynamic happens during each heart-shape revolution.

JOIN THE REVOLUTION
Whatever your reason for picking up a pair of clubs, whether pre-hab, re-hab or strengthening the source of your levers, all will benefit from regular practice with good technique. Buying a pair of clubs is a good step to make but… there is good practice, pointless practice and bad practise. Learn with a lighter pair first and do the simple basics to build up familiarity first. Find a trainer or seasoned practitioner. There are a few around, but starting to grow. We hope to welcome Paul Wolkowinski to the UK again when he is fit again. Tom Crudgington at Body Development is another primary source. Pete Hodkinson at BodyMind-Fit also trains clubs.

Functional fitness with clubs, meels, mace and shena

Functional fitness with clubs, meels, mace and shena

A top day with Tom and the PTs at BodyDevelopment. Learning moves through an appreciation of functional application makes it… understandable, acceptable, applicable, memorable. Many times, I have come away from a brain overload workshop only forget most of what I was shown. With Tom, he makes it work for you by explaining how various rotational and linear moves can work for your chosen discipline. Brains light up for us all in different ways as to how we can apply in our selected varied disciplines. All the moves learnt have a martial origin – uppercut, parry, sweep, fend, lock, break. By understanding the importance other parts of the body contribute to each seemingly simple movement, optimal performance can be achieved. These workshops will have you re-thinking, where does my punching/throwing power come from. Shoulders? Hips? Core? Big Toe? A. All of them and more.

I have been using Indian clubs for 12 years now and very happy to see this old dog of mine learn many new tricks! At a base level, the clubs are good for shoulder, elbow, wrist flexibility and coordination. Time to take it up a notch… integrate hip rotation and foot movement and the importance of head position. Keeping the head over your point of power – essential for the high torque generating power swings with mace and Persian meels. All the time, consider the transfer application for your chosen sport. eg. rugby maul – get your head over the ball Pull/Push relevant legs and Twist hips to rip the ball etc.

From a PT point of view, it is good to gain an understanding of moving up or down in terms of difficulty when teaching groups of varied abilities. If a client struggles with the task in hand, take it down a notch, or two. Obviously the reverse for those more capable. For Indian clubs this would be something like foundation level – dominant hand with club uppercut, open shoulder, straighten inclined arm and reverse. Repeat. Next level – with both hands. Maybe progress the moves in a squat position. Next level – Hinge, swing and lock overhead both clubs. Next level – open elbows to side from lock. Add – outside swings. Add – inside swings. Breaking each of these moves into their martial origins and desired applications makes the whole process meaningful. Something my own teaching with clubs will benefit from now on.

The above was just a small sample from one Tom Crudgington’s ever evolving workshops at BodyDevelopment in Bath.

A mind node illustrates information saturation of what was retained…
Indian clubs Gada Persian Meels Workshop mind node

 

Why Push up boards?

Why Push up boards?

What is so special about a simple push up board?

Push up boards seem to have their roots in ancient Media, what is now northern Iran, being documented for military purposes as far back as the 5th century BC. During the Parthian Empire (238 BC – 224 AD) the board became a mainstay of the Pahlavani (sport of heroes). During this period, certain traditions and tools of the Pahlavani made their way into the Indo-Pakistan region and merged with Hatha yoga and the local style of Indian wrestling, Malla-jddha.

In modern Iran, seven traditional Persian disciplines are practised in the Zurhaneh (house of strength). These include, meels (large clubs), sang (shield) and shena (push-up board), and usually accompanied by a rhythmic drum beat and chanting. The Zurhaneh training methods are touted as the reason why Iranians are perennial champions at international wrestling and weight-lifting events.

Push up boards are used widely throughout the world from the average fitness enthusiast to soldiers and world class competitive athletes. The board uses nearly every muscle of the body – including pecs, biceps, triceps, deltoids, abs, lats and glutes as well as strengthening the grip – giving a total body conditioning workout in a short period of time. They require a superior effort as stability in the shoulders and arms are required when using the board.

The raised structure of the board allows for different hand positions which can shift during exercise. The variation of grip they offer reduces stress in the wrist and can accommodate flexibility issues some users might have that prevent them from performing regular press-ups. Also, the raising of the trunk allows increased spine rotation during ‘corkscrew’ and other twisting push-ups. This gains extra angles contracting the obliques, abs, pecks and lats – increasing core strength and flexibility.

At BodyMindFit, we have been developing our latest boards, with secret fixings and robust construction of highest quality, in sustainably source hardwood of course. Traditional boards are are up to 700mm long, as is our premium board. However, we have regularly been asked to make longer boards for some broader shouldered chumps out there so we decided to make the 800mm a regular product too, for just 3 quid more.

push up board close upshena pushup boards anti-slip

5kg Persian meels ready to go

5kg Persian meels ready to go

It has been a wait, but finally we have a batch of long awaited 5kg Persian meels, oiled up and ready to go. The wood we use is FSC compliant and our turner has done a fabulous job. We will also have some 3kg meels for those starting out within a week or so. Timber is also being prepared for the 7.5kg and 10kg meels. The wood for these has been outside for some time so need to acclimatise over the next 4 weeks before they will be ready to dispatch. These heavier meels are being made from super dense hardwood. Don’t train near a riverbank. If they fall in they will not float! Get in touch if you want a pair reserving.

 

Push up board benefits – for surfers?

Push up board benefits – for surfers?

I took up the shena (aka push up board) only 3 months ago and was immediately impressed with new feelings of glow in my arms, core, shoulders and more surprisingly, hips. It also coincided with a surfing/yoga holiday to Morocco for 10 days so specific training was in mind.

Surfing is not going to happen unless you have paddle fitness. The best way is to, well, paddle on your board. Not the most convenient for those 2 hours drive from the sea. Next best to get down your local pool and swim lengths. If this doesn’t suit then I can recommend the foundation kettlebell swing – with emphasis on the downswing. Not many do this exercise, and it is not for the beginner to try. But enough of KBs and swimming as this article is about how the push up board prepared me for a surf trip…

My basic pre-surf bodyweight work-out consisted of jump-ups plus a mix of push up board exercises to compliment being on the board. Stability of your shoulder girdle is necessary for those effortless pop-ups when catching the nice green waves. The ability to keep your head up while paddling and getting up is also a must. The push up board offers this development with a host of press-up variations and more. One repeated exercise involved starting with a wide leg downward dog, lowering to a low plank with elbows close to the sides and finally pushing through into a cobra with straight arms. Perfect to familiarise muscle chains for head-up paddling abilities.

Pushups with circles and the awesome Twisting pushups utilising oblique crunches were working on many levels. The core was attacked from constantly changing angles. The shoulders worked hard, developing the stabilising rotator-cuffs. And, surprisingly, my hip flexors were challenged as I noticed new flexibility developing in this part of the body too. I didn’t realise at the time, but can now vouch for the twisting push-up to help hugely in making it possible to duck dive oncoming waves when paddling out beyond the breakers and get into green waves outback. This exercise is tailor-made to develop this skill – under the wave, then board, rotating 360° out behind the wave back on top, ready to paddle then repeat and repeat…

Hearing of other people’s aching muscles gave an inward smugness of not feeling any major pain in my upper body after doing 2 straight days of 5 hours in the water. However, my calves were screaming due to doing the basics in waist deep white water, constantly trying to out jump the frothy sets. Something to rember next time the surfboard gets a call.

You can find some amazing information and videos from Kashi down under at persianyoga.com

Also thanks to Maria, Medhi’s 1 & 2 and everyone at MarocSurfCamp

 

 

Shena – push-up boards

Shena – push-up boards

Pushups are one of the oldest strength training exercises and have stood the test of time as an invaluable addition to strength training programs. Wooden push-up boards enable a wide range of push-up exercises, including deeper range of motions whilst allowing correct joint alignment during motion. Historically, they have their roots in what is now northern Iran and known as Shena –  a key part of the 7 strength and endurance fitness disciplines in Persian Zurkhaneh (Houses of Strength). They require a superior effort as stability in the shoulders and arms are required when using the board. They also reduce the stress on wrists, a common issue preventing some people from performing regular press-ups. They create a raising of the trunk which allows it to rotate the spine further during ‘screw’ push-ups. This gains extra angles contracting the obliques, abs, pecks and lats – increasing core strength and flexibility.

shena push up PahlavaniSuitable for the average person trying to get in shape up to soldiers, martial artists and world class athletes. The push up itself uses nearly every muscle in the body: pecs, biceps, triceps, deltoids, lats, abs, glutes, quads, obliques, and more. When combined with today’s understanding of body mechanics, irradiation, compression breathing, high tension and other modern training techniques the push up board intensifies the workout, giving a total body conditioning in a short period of time. A combination that spans millenia… ancient tools for modern warriors.

Shena push-up boards allow for a challenging all round body workout on their own, intensifying the push-up variations. Optimise muscular tension and irradiation. Combine muscle chains around the body: pecs, biceps, triceps, deltoids, lats, abs, glutes, quads, obliques, and others. Use regularly for whole body improvements in strength, endurance and flexibility. Traditionally, they are the perfect compliment to Persian meels training in the Iranian ‘zurhaneh’ (house of strength) circular gyms.

Sure, you can make your own. Otherwise, we offer high quality hardwood versions, with hidden joins, made by local craftsmen that carry the BMF branding. A choice of two stiles are on offer.

ORDER HERE

Destroyer of evils and obstacles

Hope you like the new logo – to be branded on all our wooden exercise equipment built by UK craftsmen. A traditional, old-school approach to fitness lends itself to the powerful icon of Ganesh – Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also revered as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. Health and longevity to us all.

 

PATIENCE… SECURED

For a belt and braces approach, we decided to secure the whole site with SSL and the Stripe payment gateway has been up and running securely for the last few weeks. Thank you for bearing with us.

To anyone visiting the site and noticing the yellow security warning triangle (top left next to the URL), please bare with us. We have been implementing a secure payment system to conform with good business practice and should have all tightly locked up by the end of today, 20 September 2016. Our payment system is working fine, though we wish to apply SSL security throughout the site for belt and braces piece of mind. Thank you for your interest in our Indian Clubs and Persian Meels and hears to a nice green padlock sign 🙂

 

Antique teardrop Indian clubs

Happy to showcase this selection of antique teardrop clubs in our collection. These are much lighter than the standard size clubs though just as popular during the Victorian era. Great for improving timing and coordination of shoulder, arm and wrist. Can also be used for juggling, though 2 pairs would be needed. Can compliment regular size and larger clubs as well as other types of training. These lighter clubs would also be perfect for shoulder injury rehab as used by some physiotherapists. As far as we know, this batch is c. 1940/50s. Weights vary from 200 to 230gms and we have paired according to weight balance. 2019 UPDATE – we now produce our own copies of teardrop Indian clubs, weighing in at around 300gms BUY

 

Indian Clubs or Clubbells?

Indian Clubs or Clubbells?

There is a debate going round that clubbells are superior to Indian Clubs. Heavy verses large, steel v wood. I believe all have their merits.  There are options for all club-types. Physios use lighter clubs for shoulder rehabilitation… not a smart idea with a 6lb clubbell. Club swingers come from all bodytypes and not solely the domain of fit and able. I personally train people from 14 to 70 years of age, male and female, and carry a varied collection of clubs to suit – from small clubs to Persian meels. Some prefer using lighter clubs for longer periods for a more meditative stress release.

More can be achieved with a pair of lighter clubs than you may think. Coordination is challenged while flexibility and grip is constantly being developed. With a little imagination, even the lightest wooden clubs can be made challenging through isolating your upper body by simply sitting on a stool (with legs tucked out of the way to save the kneecaps)! The varied circular motions of Indian clubs are now accepted as being of great benefit for shoulder stabilisation. Therapists have used them as part of shoulder rehabilitation programmes and are widely considered as perfect prehab as they exercise the muscles of the rotator cuff.

Some argue that Clubbells can be very heavy and yet still much more compact than wooden clubs. That’s one of their biggest advantages as a piece of club swinging equipment. Naturally, there are a lot of clubbell exercises that cannot be performed with other longer tools. However, regular Indian Clubs can be a work out in their own right or used as a warm up to other workouts such as kettlebells as I favour with my own classes. They are also very different to clubbells in that they are more often used in pairs and thereby offer the further benefit of balanced coordination development.

However, those wanting to train for more extreme reasons and with a physique conditioned beyond the standard Indian Club movement, may call for a heavier strength workout to broaden their cause. The choice used to be either a super large meel, mace or the more recent steel clubbell. Not any more…

3.5kg Indian wooden clubbellsBody Mind Fit introduces the best of both worlds. Our weighted Indian Clubs combine the compact physical sizing of a clubbell with the beautiful tactile nature of natural wood. This year we have seen a recent surge in demand for our larger clubs with bespoke weighting from 1.5 to 3kg wooden clubs. Our Swedish friend, Walsson asked us to make a bespoke club to take his training to the next level. We obliged, and hope he doesn’t mind tipping the scales 33 grams over!

 

Bespoke size

Bespoke size

It is always nice when someone says good things about what you do. A Swedish customer who already has 2 pairs of my Indian clubs is knocking on the door again asking for a heavier bespoke size. He also has metal club-bells but still prefers the tactile feel and weighted balance of the crafted wooden versions.

But for the Persian mils (meels) there is no comparison.
Your wooden clubs are far superior compared to the crude Steel clubs.

Walsson

 

Bespoke Indian exercise clubs

Bespoke Indian exercise clubs

Kettlebells have re-asserted themselves as a must-have for all serious fitness/strength practitioners over the last few years. The other ‘old school’ training device that is now starting to catch up is the Indian Club. Traditionally they are turned in beautiful variations of wood and offer immense shoulder strength and stability, wrist and grip strength and core development. Modern takes on the club have been the forged metal club bells in order to gain more weight. Heavier than the traditional club they offer more strength biased exercises, albeit with more limited range of skills. Both the lighter traditional clubs and the weighted ones together offer a wider range of benefits. Heavier is not better than lighter, they simply challenge the body differently.

We offer the best of both worlds, maintaining the beauty of natural wood and gain weight without needing to use half a tree by adding lead inserts. The image featured shows a pair made to request from a client in Sweden, weighing in at 2kg.

Embellished grooves on Indian clubs are traditionally for decoration. However, we’ve decided to use the grooves to distinguish one weight from another. 2 grooves for 2 kilos, 3 for 3 etc. which is what happened from a request from Sweden last week. The client asked for a weight that was between our listed large 1.5kg and it’s weighted big brother at 3kg. If you need something a little different to the norm, get in touch. We may be able to help.

Still time to order machine turned Indian exercise clubs, before Christmas.