The Bulgarian bag mill is another traditional steel club exercise we can perform with a Bulgarian bag. The mill is a great sport specific exercise for fighters, swimmers, tennis players and any other sport that requires circular shoulder strength. It’s essentially the same movement as the Bulgarian bag side swipe, but we just rotate the shoulders and cast the bag away in the opposite direction instead of sending it back the same way it came.

Teaching Points

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with the bag resting against your legs and the main handles pointing upwards.
  2. Hinge the hips whilst keeping your chest proud and core braced, your torso should be at a 30–45-degree angle with your knees slightly bent.
  3. Grab the bag by the main handles keeping your shoulders packed down, arms locked out and a straight line between crown and coccyx.
  4. Keep your core braced and your spine neutral throughout the movement.
  5. Swing the bag laterally just outside of one leg, rotate the thoracic so your midline stays centred to the bag.
  6. Focus on the opposite hip sway, so as the bag swings to the left of your body, counter the movement by swaying your hip to the right.
  7. Powerfully driving the hips forward at a 45-degree angle, as the bag passes the front of the body at the bottom of the swing, charge your weight in the opposite direction to counter the weight.
  8. Once the bag reaches chest height, squeeze through the shoulder blades, draw the elbows back and swing the bag over the head.
  9. As soon as the bag passes over the top of the head aim to get your elbows high and absorb the force of the bag landing on the back of your shoulders.
  10. Rotate your shoulders 180-degrees and cast the bag back into a swing by popping your elbows upwards whilst pulling the handles downwards.
  11. Repeat the movement. 

Common Problems & Solutions

Error: Pulling the bag towards the body to early and not giving yourself enough room for the bag to go over your head.
Correction: Wait for the bag to reach chest height and get your elbows high as soon as the bag passes over the top of the head.