How To: Dragon Squat Hinge Swing

January 15, 2023 by VAHVA Fitness

Twisting dragon squat and a hinge swing with the steel mace. Add dimensions to your exercises without destroying the effectiveness.

Recently we have been releasing lots of information and exercises done with steel maces and clubbells. Below are our reasonings for why these tools should be used:

For a relatively long time, maces and clubbells flew under our radar but in 2022 they became stable equipments in our arsenal towards athletic and functional physique.

Maces and clubbells will primarily work your upper body but you can also do lots of leg exercises with them. The mace in general is amazing for grip strength, core stability and rotation, arm development and upper back and shoulders.

Most leg exercises you will do with the mace or clubbells are like regular leg exercises but you just add a swinging motion or offset weight to make them more challenging.

For example, a clubbell swing which is performed similarly to the kettlebell swing is an amazing exercise and offers a different stimulus to the standard kettlebell swing.

Likewise, you can perform lots of single leg exercises with offset loading making them work more on the stability of the body and to develop the body more unilaterally.

Dragon Squat with the Mace

dragon squat steel mace

Dragon squat with a hip hinge swing is a very unique exercise. It’s basically a dynamic variation of "a curtsy lunge" but with some fundamental differences.

In the fitness industry, curtsy lunge is a very popular exercise among women because it develops the glutes very well. However, the exercise is equally beneficial for men to do as well. 

This "twisting" squat where the rear leg goes behind and beyond the front leg, does not just develop the glutes but it also works more on the inner thighs and different parts of the quadriceps than a regular squat or a lunge.

Here in the dragon squat hip swing you make it even more challenging and multi-dimensional by adding a hip hinge and mace swing to the mix.

In the dragon squat hinge swing the knee flexion is not as pronounced as in the lunge/squat pattern either. Instead, the hip hinge, hip flexion and the consequent extension, are emphasized.

Thus instead of an up and down lunge motion you get more of a single leg deadlift motion with an externally rotated hip. This is an angle that rarely gets trained although it’s crucial for the complete strength and flexibility of the gluteal muscles.

One specialty of this “curtsy deadlift” pattern is also the torso angle. At the bottom position of the exercise, your stomach is not facing completely down nor completely sideways. It’s about 45 degrees between which can intensely stimulate stabilizer muscles on the sides of your lower back, the quadratus lumborum. 

The third special quality of this exercise relates to the swinging motion itself. There is an elastic recoil component in this exercise.

You will develop the ability of your soft tissue to store and release energy in a dynamic way. This opens up and educates the tissue for functional and efficient movement.

The swing will even develop your grip and triceps because although the mace looks light, it's not an easy thing to hold onto it with just one hand!

We recommend this exercise for everyone who wants to develop functional and structurally balanced legs. 

Back in Australia when we were developing Athlete 20XX Method, we used to do lots of movements like the curtsy lunge to develop the lower body.

In this period of our training journeys, we didn't leave any stones unturned in our body - we wanted to develop each fiber of our muscles in every muscle length and angle we could find.

The result? I have zero pain and move better than ever. You have seen how well Eero can move and how much he has progressed over the years beyond anyone's expectations. 

By using exercises like this and transforming your training, you can get similar results if you devote your time to doing the smart work.

What else? Last year, we added 5 new workout routines to Warrior 20XX Method. 1 with a steel mace and 1 with Indian clubbells!

Stay strong.

samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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