Onnit Steel Clubs: An Amazing Functional Strength Enhancement

The Onnit Steel Clubs collection

Onnit Steel Clubs borrow from a workout practice from ancient Persia, where steel clubs were used to condition soldiers and wrestlers. They have been a long-standing resource for improving grip strength, shoulder work, and rotational core power.

As a big fan of steel clubs, we had to take a moment to highlight the Onnit Steel Clubs along with some recommended exercises they can help you master.

The Onnit Steel Clubs come in various sizes, making them a great addition to any home gym, whether you’re a beginner or a high-performing athlete.

Overview of Onnit Steel Clubs

Onnit Steel Clubs, made from a single machined steel piece, are characterized by their chip-resistant matte finish. Their rust-resistant powder coat is top-notch, and the steel construction ensures a well-balanced weight distribution and durability for prolonged usage.

When you place an Onnit Steel Club in your hand, you’ll quickly realize they are a dense product and well-balanced because they are created from a single piece of metal. You’ll also quickly realize that the textured grip was made to hold chalk and is slightly rigid but not overly tough on your hands. This is important since you’ll likely be wielding the club around for some exercises and don’t want the product to slip out of your hands.

A few reviewers did note that the Onnit Steel Clubs have seemed inconsistent in terms of texture, with some clubs and certain sizes arriving with both heavily textured and smoother grips. This is important to remember in case you are buying a pair. On a positive note, we’ve worked with Onnit in the past and their customer service has always been willing to rectify any issues we’ve had.

Onnit Steel Clubs

We noticed the same density and balance with our Onnit Primal Kettlebells review and the more stereotypical Onnit Kettlebells. It’s very apparent that the company is focused only on a handful of functional training products, and that focus has paid off with a high-quality set of products.

It’s important to note that the “balance” for these steel clubs is focused on the general balance around the circumference of each club. The ends of the clubs are heavier than the handles. Steel Clubs are meant to distribute weight with a heavier result at the end, a design that forces the user to focus more heavily on muscle stabilization.

Not only is steel a denser metal than iron, but it’s also the most economically viable way to create this type of product, which allows it to remain relatively cheap to purchase. Steel is also heavier than iron products, allowing Onnit Steel Clubs to feature a more slim design at heavier weights. We particularly love this last point because slinging around a bulky club has injury written all over it.

The steel design also means a more accurate weight tolerance which ensures a more even distribution of weight when using two clubs at the same time.

Another big consideration is the length of each club. The heavier the club, the longer it becomes and the more balance control you’ll need to master.

Onnit Steel Clubs weight and length

We highly recommend starting with the 5lb option, and once your shoulders and core feel up to the task, slowly move up the weight chart. When using steel clubs, I perform movements to failure and then move down in sizing to achieve my desired results. Suppose I’m pushing myself for a new personal record, in that case, I’ll move in the other direction, reaching close to exhaustion before attempting to push out my final movements at a lower rep account with a heavier club size.

As always, is suggest you do whatever feels comfortable for your own workout style and capabilities.

Important Tip for injury rehabilitation and general use: If you are rehabilitating a shoulder or other injuries, we highly recommend sticking to 5lb and 10lb weights. As always, consult with your doctor, physical therapist, or well-educated personal trainer before proceeding with any workout.

If there’s one universal complaint about Onnit Steel Clubs, it’s that the weight indicator is located on the bottom of the clubs. This forces the user to pick up the club to see its size. It also means the white paint used by Onnit starts to rub off over time.


  • Excellent Steel Design should last a very long time.
  • Excellent balance.
  • A very strong powder coat for chip and rust resistance.
  • Etched-in and colored weight notifications for easy recognition.
  • A relatively low-cost workout option.
  • A bunch of weight options to choose from.
  • A nice alternative to dumbells and kettlebells.


  • It can take some getting used to for beginners.
  • Sold in singles or pairs (if you want to save money).
  • Even lower-weighted clubs provide a strong workout.
  • The club weight is located on the bottom and the white paint will start to rub off after time.

A Multipurpose Fitness Tool

These clubs introduce a new dimension to fitness training encompassing strength, conditioning, and balance. They serve as an additional tool alongside conventional training techniques like barbell exercises, contributing to all-inclusive full-body workouts.

Benefits of Steel Club Training

The primal nature of Steel Club training contributes to several aspects of fitness:

  • Rehabilitation and Preparation: Lighter Steel Clubs aid in rehabilitating joints, tendons, and smaller muscles, preparing them for strenuous workouts. The weight balancing during exercises aids in developing stabilizing muscles.
  • Improved Grip Strength: The weight distribution in heavier Steel Clubs significantly bolsters forearm and grip strength.
  • Athletic Balance: Onnit Steel Clubs help balance the body by mimicking motions used in sports like tennis, golf, baseball, volleyball, and basketball.
  • Rotational Core Power: Steel Clubs provide excellent rotational training opportunities, enhancing rotational power.
  • Real-World Strength: These clubs focus on developing strength in shoulders, core, and forearms along with dynamic full-body movements.

Onnit Steel Clubs: Exercise Suggestions and Training Guidelines

To fully benefit from your Onnit Steel Clubs, a variety of exercises and a comprehensive training routine are essential. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Choosing The Appropriate Size Onnit Steel Club

Choosing the right weight to start with is crucial. It’s advisable to begin with lighter weights, gradually progressing as your skill improves.

  • Recovery and Mobility: Lighter weights (5-10 lbs) are suitable for recovery and mobility work.
  • Strength and Conditioning: Moderate weights (15-25lbs) are recommended for those seeking strength and conditioning benefits.
  • Advanced Techniques: A single heavy weight (35-45lbs) is suitable for advanced practitioners aiming for technically challenging two-handed drills.

Suggested Steel Club Exercises

  • Two-Handed Swings: Swing the clubs between your legs and extend your hips and knees.
  • Alternating Swings: Similar to the two-handed swing, but swing one club at a time.
  • Single-Arm Club Press: Hold one club in one hand, press the club upward, and rotate your wrist inward.
  • Double-Arm Club Press: Hold two clubs and press both upward.
  • Club Swings to Squat: Transition into a deep squat at the top of a two-handed swing.
  • Around the Body Pass: Pass a club around your body, switching hands behind your back.

Training Recommendations

  • Full-Body Circuit: Combine different swings, presses, and complex movements into a circuit-style workout.
  • Strength and Endurance Supersets: Pair strength-focused exercises with high-repetition exercises, alternating between them.

Onnit Steel Clubs are an effective tool in primal fitness and functional strength training, offering many benefits including improved grip strength, shoulder work, and rotational core power. Incorporating Onnit Steel Clubs into your workout regimen will require appropriate weight selection, correct form, and gradual progression for optimal results.

5 Most Asked Steel Club Questions

Question: What are Steel Clubs? Answer: Steel Clubs are a form of workout equipment, usually made from a single piece of machined steel. They are used in various forms of strength and conditioning training, focusing on improving grip strength, enhancing shoulder work, and increasing rotational core power.

Question: How do Steel Clubs differ from other gym equipment? Answer: Unlike traditional weights such as dumbbells and kettlebells, Steel Clubs have an uneven weight distribution which requires you to engage stabilizing muscles during exercises. They allow for a wider range of motion and multi-directional movements, making them excellent for enhancing functional fitness and athletic performance.

Question: Who can benefit from training with Steel Clubs? Answer: Steel Club training can benefit a wide range of people, from fitness enthusiasts looking to diversify their workouts, to athletes seeking to improve their performance in sports that involve a lot of swinging or throwing actions. They are also beneficial for individuals aiming to improve their grip strength and those working on rehabilitation from injuries.

Question: How do I choose the right Steel Club size for me? Answer: The appropriate Steel Club size depends on your fitness level, goals, and the specific exercises you plan to perform. For beginners and those focusing on recovery and mobility work, lighter weights (5-10lbs) are advisable. More experienced exercisers or those seeking strength and conditioning benefits should consider moderate weights (15-25lbs). Advanced practitioners performing technically challenging drills may opt for heavier weights (35-45lbs).

Question: What exercises can I perform with Steel Clubs? Answer: There are many exercises you can perform with Steel Clubs, including two-handed swings, single-arm club presses, double-arm club presses, alternating swings, club swings to squats, and around-the-body passes. These exercises can be combined into circuit-style workouts or used as part of strength and endurance supersets.

Written by James Kosur

James is a 20-year veteran of the digital media industry, an avid gym builder, and a dad to four kids, three dogs, and two cats. He's a DIYer who loves building stuff with his hands and a gamer who enjoys all facets of gaming.