Indian clubs used as fitness aids at HMAS Stirling gym in Rockingham

Club swinging instructor Paul Wolkowinski (far right) with navy personnel at the HMAS Stirling gymnasium. Picture: Lee-Anne Cooper.
Club swinging instructor Paul Wolkowinski (far right) with navy personnel at the HMAS Stirling gymnasium. Picture: Lee-Anne Cooper.

AN old navy tradition of using Indian clubs as fitness training aids is making a comeback at the HMAS Stirling gym in Rockingham.

Physical training instructor chief petty officer Paul Williams said the bowling pin-shaped wooden clubs were an important form of training before the introduction of modern day resistance training equipment.

“I started swinging clubs in February this year and have found it to be very beneficial,” Williams said.

“I played rugby for over 20 years and the club swinging exercises have assisted in the rehabilitation of persistent shoulder and arm injuries which have now completely healed.

“Most of our days can be spent at our desks with our shoulders forward typing away, and this along with continuous use of mobile phones and tablets has progressively exacerbated postural issues people of all ages are experiencing.”

People tend to hold a lot of tension in their shoulders, scapula, and upper posterior chain muscles.

“Swinging clubs promotes dynamic and fluid movement patterns in the posterior chain, functional movements and good biomechanics of the shoulders that lead to increased flexibility, strength, endurance and postural correction,” he said.

The club swinging motion also requires people to engage core muscles and maintain trunk stability and proper hip extension patterning for hip stabilisation.

Other benefits include shoulder and arm injury rehabilitation, improvement in co-ordination, a cardio and strength training option for personnel with lower limb injuries/restrictions and mental health rehabilitation.

Navy PTI’s are colloquially known as “clubs” due to the crossed clubs on their insignia harking back to historical military fitness techniques.

Indian clubbing instructor Paul Wolkowinski said the clubs originated in the Middle East and were first recorded as being used by wrestlers in ancient Persia and later used by British soldiers in the late 1800s.

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