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It's your body and your mind

Breaking Down the Heart Shape

Updated: May 2, 2022

The Heart Shape Frontal Plane Indian clubs exercise: everything you need to know.

Aloha Friends!

We are super excited to publish our first blog of the Wave Chi instructional series of content focused on helping Indian club swinging practitioners learn to use the clubs safely and effectively and get the most benefits out of that fantastic exercise.

Even though there are many types of exercises you can do with Indian clubs, we highly recommend trying The Wave Chi Method. Designed by our Founder and CEO, Jack Gillen, the National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, the Wave Chi system is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. It is a gentle, low-stress, low-impact system of training that is really fun.

The cornerstone of the Wave Chi Method is the Heart Shape Frontal Plane exercise. Having received many questions from our customers on the specifics of performing the Heart Shape Frontal Plane exercise with Indian clubs, we decided to put together this blog to address all of them and make it easier for you to learn this pattern. So, let's get started!

Four essential things to consider before attempting the Heart Shape exercise are planes of motion, shape, speed, and weight of Indian clubs. We will cover each of them below.

What Are Planes of Motion?

There are three planes of motion: frontal, sagittal, and transverse.

  • Sagittal Plane: Cuts the body into left and right halves. Forward and backward movements are performed in this plane.

  • Frontal Plane: Cuts the body into front and back halves. Side-to-side movements are performed in this plane.

  • Transverse Plane: Cuts the body into top and bottom halves. Twisting movements are performed in this plane.

The frontal plane is represented by a plane that cuts the body into front and back halves, creating an imaginary track that the body follows when performing side-to-side movements. Another way to visualize frontal plane movement is to imagine two plates of glass pressed up against the front and back sides of the body, creating a channel where the body can only move left or right, not forward and backward.


The key to the Wave Chi Method is slow motion. You don't have to go fast to get the benefits, and it is a much safer way to perform the exercise. We call it "Tai Chi slow", which gives you an idea of how fast you should move. You can do it as slowly as possible and still have the same effects without hitting your furniture or yourself (this is especially important for beginners).


The Wave Chi Method is mainly focused on shoulder rehabilitation, increasing shoulder mobility and range of motion, improving sports performance and brain function. Our goal is to make Indian clubs suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. These are the main reasons why we recommend using lighter Indian clubs. Even though you can use our clubs for strength training (especially for women), they were not designed with this purpose in mind.

Wave Chi Indian clubs weigh from 1.35lbs to 1.45lbs per club and make Indian club swinging safe and just as effective. You can learn more about them here.

Now that we have covered the basics let's move on to the exercise itself.

How to Perform the Heart Shape Indian Club Exercises

Our Founder and CEO, Jack Gillen, explains how to do the movements step by step in the video below. If you have not watched it yet, please do so. That will be the easiest way to learn how to do the patterns in both directions.

Movement Direction

In the Wave Chi Method, every move has an opposite or opposing move, making it also a brain exercise. The Heart Shape is no exception. As you learned from the video above, the opposite movement is performing the Heart Shape in the opposite direction and returning to the original position.

It may take a few repetitions for your brain to adjust to this change, but it will thank you later.

Sets and Reps

We recommend performing ten reps of the exercise in each set and switching between original and opposite Heart Shape sets. The amount of sets you perform is up to you, but you need at least two to incorporate both directions. Here is a breakdown of two ways you can do it.

50 Heart Shapes per day

1 set of 10 original Heart Shapes

1 set of 10 reverse Heart Shapes

1 set of 10 original Heart Shapes

1 set of 10 reverse Heart Shapes

1 set of 10 original Heart Shapes

Total = 50 Heart Shapes

20 Heart Shapes per day (great for beginners)

1 set of 10 original Heart Shapes

1 set of 10 reverse Heart Shapes

Total = 20 Heart Shapes

According to neuroscientists, it takes 1500 repetitions for your body to develop muscle memory. When that happens, you will automatically make the movements without much thinking about it and have a lot more fun doing that. To get to this point, it will take you 30 days performing 50 Hearts Shapes per day and 75 days performing 20 Hearts Shapes per day.

Understanding the Indian Club Swinging Logs

To help you track your progress, we include Indian Club Swinging Logs with every Indian clubs pair that we ship. Each heart shape with its number (50 or 20) represents a day of exercise. Once you complete the exercises for that day, cross it out on the log and repeat the next day. You get the idea. And if you do all 30 days, please send us a picture of your log with your name on it. We would love to see it and celebrate with you!

If you don't have the logs, you can download them here:


It is worth saying a few words here about muscle recovery. If you are new to Indian club swinging or have weak shoulders, upper back, or upper body in general, you may experience muscle soreness after a few days of doing the Heart Shapes, just like with other types of exercises. It will go away after a few days, but if it feels uncomfortable, you can use a foam roller, muscle massage stick, or a massage therapist for recovery. Other good options may include ice baths or ice packs applied to sore muscles, drinking plenty of water, or stretching your arms, shoulders, and back before and after exercising.

Making Indian club swinging a part of your wellness routine is easy and highly beneficial, and we would love to help you on your journey. We hope we covered everything you need to know about the Heart Shape Frontal Plane exercise, but if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please share them with us. We want to hear from you!


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