Truly Functional Fitness: The Axe-Throwing Workout

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Perhaps you're following the forerunners of paleo and training like a soldier at the gym. Maybe you’ve even mastered the art of taking a punchand you’re generally trying to get more badass with every passing day. Well, as long as you’re on that path, you may as well learn to throw an axe with devastating accuracy. Don’t just go out in the woods and start chucking, though, because like throwing a baseball, there’s a form to throwing an axe exactly where you want it.

Instead, take the advice of an expert, in this case, Krista Poll. Poll is a co-owner and axe-throwing coach at the soon-to-be-opening 8,000-square-foot axe-throwing gym, Urban Axes Philadelphia

As the first U.S. throwing gym in a major American city, Urban Axes will offer a plethora of axe-throwing services. Private parties, competitive axe-throwing leagues, or just hanging out with some friends while you eat takeout and throw axes will all be options at the new gym (which is hiring axe-throwing coaches, "no experience necessary!"), as they try to bring one of the most popular pastimes in Canada to America. Seriously, Toronto alone has almost a dozen axe-throwing gyms, and Poll told us that after starting there, the trend spread to every other major city in Canada.

As someone experienced in the art of throwing 1.5-pound axes, Poll explains everything you need to know about the art of safely executing a two-handed axe toss.

Assume the position:

If you're right-handed, put your right hand at the bottom of the hatchet, then put your left hand on top of your right hand. As for your feet: put your left foot in front of you, about nine inches in front of your right foot, you’ll lean into your left foot as you’re taking aim.

Aim:

To line up your target, look where you want to throw the axe and put your arms straight out in front of you toward the target with the end of the axe lined up with the bullseye.

Let it rip:

Bring your axe over your head so your elbows are on each side of your ear. As you bring your arms back, shift your weight to your back foot. Bring the axe back in one fluid motion and then come forward with both your arms while releasing the axe at target height, making sure to bring your arms down as you follow through. When you propel your arms forward to throw, shift your weight to your front left foot and then use the momentum of your body to release the axe. As a visual aid, think of it like trying to throw a soccer ball in from out of bounds, except it’s an axe.

You might wonder if axe-throwing is a skill that you really need to have in this life. Well, at the very least, knowing how to throw an axe could make you as devastating as Mel Gibson in The PatriotFailing a societal collapse, throwing an axe isn’t a particularly useful life skill, but like opening a beer bottle with your teeth, playing the spoons, or being awesome at darts, it can be pretty damn fun.