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Thread: Gym Workout for fencing?

  1. #1
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    Gym Workout for fencing?

    Hey, I recently started fencing and was wondering if anyone had gym tips. I just started working out and copied a basic workout from exrex.net, but I was wondering if there are some fencing-specific muscles I could target with an exercise or two that a normal workout wouldn't cover or that fencers should focus a bit more on?

    http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html has a list of all the muscles and exercises targeting each one, so if you don't know the name you can just check it there.

    PS, yes I tried using Search and nothing came up.

  2. #2
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    Obviously a good place to start would be the legs since you are down with bent knees 90% of the time. Some good exercises would be to do some squats with Barbells or Dumbells and leg presses. Also, just doing alot of footwork with bent knees more than usual would work, but thats not in the Gym.
    SO do a lot of leg exercises, There is something called a slide board, it works really well. Also, LUNGES LUNGES LUNGES. I will help your fencing lunge.

    Also, try to do some aerobics like Jump roping, running or something because you need that kind of endurance in the semi's when you make it to nationals.

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    Thanks, I'll start doing cardio when my feet stop hurting after the footwork exercises.

    Also, I just saw a ton of related suggested posts below, apparently the key word was "workout", I didn't think of that

  4. #4
    Member UnidentifiedFencerOnline's Avatar
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    its a good idea to work on the muscles in your sword arm. lift small weights and stuff.

    this is not really gym material but you can do it at home
    1)stand on guard and practise extending with and/or without a weapon try and hit a target wether real or imaginary, remember to aim and get your arm out there quickly and keep your hand up (around shoulder height) and point down
    2) step back and aim, extend and lunge
    here is a link to some fencing drills on fencing.net
    http://www.fencing.net/drills/

    this is another website it has a lot of cool stuff about fencing like nutrition and drills and some games and jokes

    http://www.cuttingedgefencing.com/links/links.html

    good luck!

  5. #5
    Senior Member whtouche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobocamp View Post
    Some good exercises would be to do some squats with Barbells or Dumbells and leg presses.
    Wrongness bolded for emphasis. Leg presses first of all drastically increase the risk for lower back injury especially in comparison to lower body exercises using a barbell. Secondly there is very little to almost no functional transfer from leg presses to athletic activities. Leg presses will increase your chances of getting hurt, and make your legs bigger (whoopee), but not help you in fencing.

    I'll try to post more to this thread later (Have to run to referee a tournament), but in short: Deadlift heavy, and do squats (front squats for emphasis on the quads, and single leg squats if you're serious).
    "Their interpretation is, however, refuted most elegantly by your system of radioactive atom + amplifier + charge of gun powder + cat in a box"
    -Albert Einstein, in a letter to Erwin Schrödinger

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    Tim Morehouse has posted a number of great ideas for gym workouts. He has a number of youtube videos up and his blog has some additional material.

    http://timmorehouse.wordpress.com/
    Workout 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8sgU...eature=related
    Workout 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aohwt...eature=related
    Workout 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iP-H...eature=related
    Workout 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poRmt...eature=related

    http://timmorehouse.wordpress.com/20...alth-magazine/

    I also like the crossfit site for excercise ideas, they have a huge selection of videos showing how they are done

    http://www.crossfit.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    I disagree with the post that was not in favor of leg presses. Leg presses will NOT injure your lower back as long as you do them properly on a machine that is adjusted for you. Ask one of the trainers at the gym you go to for proper instructions. They are absolutely necessary to prevent injury to your knees and keep them stable when fencing. I use about four different machines at my gym including the leg press. I am doing it simply to make them rock solid and stable and it works. A knee injury will keep you out of fencing for a long time in addition to making your life miserable by limping around. Hit the machines three times a week. Plus most fencers have pretty wimpy looking legs anyhow! So build them up.
    Last edited by Greg; 09-27-2009 at 04:21 PM.

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    Senior Member Superscribe's Avatar
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    People should have to post pictures of themselves when they give out advice on working out. That'd be funny.

    A lot of plyometrics is good. Jump rope to warm up, and then bench exercises really help me (jumping up and off of and around a stadium bench).

    If you can clean and jerk, that's just an awesome work out for fencers all around.
    Everyone relax cause I got it....

  9. #9
    Senior Member whtouche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    I disagree with the post that was not in favor of leg presses. Leg presses will NOT injure your lower back as long as you do them properly on a machine that is adjusted for you. Ask one of the trainers at the gym you go to for proper instructions. They are absolutely necessary to prevent injury to your knees and keep them stable when fencing. I use about four different machines at my gym including the leg press. I am doing it simply to make them rock solid and stable and it works. A knee injury will keep you out of fencing for a long time in addition to making your life miserable by limping around. Hit the machines three times a week. Plus most fencers have pretty wimpy looking legs anyhow! So build them up.
    I'm sorry to call you out like this Greg but this demonstrates a pretty fundamental misunderstanding. First of all, yes it is possible to do leg presses and not injure your back, but the machine itself lends itself to a higher probability of injury. Let's explore.

    When you stand up straight with good posture and a slight natural curve in your lower back, your spine is in a neutral position. Pull your butt back, hunch your shoulders, lose the curve in your lower back (basic bad posture) your spine is in flexion. The opposite way, with your hips out, this is called extension. Flexion and extension put exponentially more stress on the discs in your spine. Think of the cream bulging out of a big stack of oreos if you tilt the stack one way or another. Maintaining a neutral spine is very difficult using a leg press machine. Illustrative example:
    http://artisanfitness.com/wp-content...iserotated.jpg
    This is a picture of a woman on a leg press machine that has been flipped to give you more perspective of her posture, and thus the position of her spine. As you can see she hasn't even lowered the weight that much and her spine is already in extreme flexion. This is a recipe for disaster. You WILL get hurt in this position. So then you can see that in order to use this machine and minimize the danger you would have to barely lower the weight, which would mean you're getting much less benefit of a weight bearing exercise as well.

    Your point about stabilizing your knees is erroneous as well - it's actually so opposite of true I wonder if you're doing it on purpose. As with all track based machines, the leg press takes the stabilizing muscles in your legs, particularly around your knees, COMPLETELY out of the equation. Think about it - no matter how you press, be it perfectly in line with the machine's track, or at a weight angle, the machine only moves along one path. Stabilizing muscles on your legs and around your knees do no work, and as such they do not get exercised.

    This also has the added negative aspect of putting excess shearing force on your joints (hips, knees.) Think about it - if you're pushing at an angle but the sled is moving along a different path, all that extra force is moving at an angle through your joints. This additionally increases your injury risk, particularly to your tendons and connective tissue around your joints.

    Like I said, the leg press is only useful as a way to (artificially) more large amounts of weight to stimulate non-functional muscle growth. All leg pressing will do is make you better at leg pressing.

    I hope you don't feel attacked, Greg. I don't expect to convince you (as a random internet person and all) but if you do a little research the information is out there and readily available.
    "Their interpretation is, however, refuted most elegantly by your system of radioactive atom + amplifier + charge of gun powder + cat in a box"
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    It appears you are not very familiar with leg press machines. The one you show has the person sitting. That is a very uncomforable machine to use. The one's I used in physical therapy have you lying down at an angle. The stresses you talk about are not present. I did these workouts after a serious knee injury under the supervision of a sports med surgeon and a PT. They worked perfectly. I would suggest you research the technology more before saying that someone is incorrect.

    Second, my comment about stabilizing one'e knees was not in reference to using the machine. Reread my post again. It has to do with increasing leg strength which in turn helps decrease the probability, not certainty of knee injuries. Ask a doctor.

    So, random internet person, I would suggest you get your facts straight. BTW, were you born a dic or is that something you have been working at?
    Last edited by Greg; 09-29-2009 at 10:44 AM.

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    Senior Member shlepzig's Avatar
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    Fuel to the fire - Leg Presses

    From the illustration sent, the classic leg press machine shown as well as more modern machines, most of the forces are resolved thorough the hips to the chair, not the back. UNLESS, the machine is not set up improperly for the person, which can cause all sorts of problems.

    The general consensus from the fitness articles I have read, trainers generally agree, that free weights are preferable for sports training over weight machines. Because of the activation of the stabilization muscles. However, for intense workouts you should always have a spotter, if you don't the machines provide and adequate level of safety.

    If you are rehabilitating after injury the machines provide a workout for very specific muscle groups that can enhance recovery. If the injury was to the stabilization muscles, improper free weight excercise can exacerbate injury.

    -Shlep'
    Giving you the most for my two cents.

  12. #12
    Senior Member whtouche's Avatar
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    Greg I apologize, you seem to have mis-interpreted the tone of my post. I'm used to having adult conversations with people, where it is understood that criticism or corrections or attempts to educate are not personal attacks. You are apparently unfamiliar with this method of communication so let me make the tone of this post clear from the beginning:
    I thought at first you were uninformed. Ignorant, if you will, but I wouldn't have used a word so harsh. I can see now however that you are in actuality willfully and purposefully stupid. Let us begin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    It appears you are not very familiar with leg press machines. The one you show has the person sitting. That is a very uncomforable machine to use. The one's I used in physical therapy have you lying down at an angle. The stresses you talk about are not present.
    So you admit that the stresses on the spine which I described are present in the picture I posted? But they are not present when using a conventional leg press machine, where you lay down at an angle? Well you clearly missed the part of my post where I said this:
    This is a picture of a woman on a leg press machine that has been flipped to give you more perspective of her posture, and thus the position of her spine.
    Because you clearly did not understand this part the first time, let me supply you with the original, un-rotated image:

    LOOK AT THAT! It's the exact machine you described. And since you already admitted that the spinal stresses I described are present in the first image, since this is THE SAME IMAGE I'm sure you'll concede the point. Or not, and just be wrong.

    I did these workouts after a serious knee injury under the supervision of a sports med surgeon and a PT. They worked perfectly. I would suggest you research the technology more before saying that someone is incorrect.
    I think it's pretty clear to everyone reading this thread which of us knows what they are talking about.

    Second, my comment about stabilizing one'e knees was not in reference to using the machine. Reread my post again. It has to do with increasing leg strength
    ...which you recommended people do by using the leg press. I don't get what you're saying here. I think I already made it pretty clear why using the leg press machine will not create the type of strength necessary to stabilize one's knees. Maybe YOU should re-read MY post

    So, random internet person, I would suggest you get your facts straight. BTW, were you born a dic or is that something you have been working at?
    Greg once again I apologize that you mis-interpreted the tone of my post, and thought I was being a dick. It was an honest attempt to provide you (and others) with the information necessary to make safe and informed decisions. But just because you happen to be COMPLETELY WRONG about this particular topic, you took my pointing this fact out as a personal attack. Like I said, do some research (I already have. Tons and tons. Your turn) and you will see that I'm right. It doesn't make you a bad person. But if you re-evaluate your workout habits I think you'll see alot of positive changes.
    "Their interpretation is, however, refuted most elegantly by your system of radioactive atom + amplifier + charge of gun powder + cat in a box"
    -Albert Einstein, in a letter to Erwin Schrödinger

  13. #13
    Senior Member Grasshopper's Avatar
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    Somebody better tell that woman doing leg-presses about this!!
    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WON'T YOU BUY MY TACTICAL WHEEL!!!????

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    The ACSM specifically uses a 1 RM of the seated leg press in exercise testing as described in "American College of Sports Medicine's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription - 7th Edition". They also repeatedly refer to this exercise in numerous white papers discussing resistance training program development, including exercise prescription for the elderly and the developmentally disabled. Given this, it's going to take more than an article by jmcsweet at Artisan Fitness for me to accept that this is the devil's exercise.

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    Senior Member kmwong's Avatar
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    I don't know anything much about lifing weights (no not because I am a girl who refuses to try it) ... I just haven't tried yet.

    I ran XC for 2-3 years in high school. Those 5 miles a day really put me in good shape. Sometimes it's being in better cardiovascular strength that can make the difference in a DE. When you get tired you do stupid things with your fencing. Running also builds muscle, and increases overall fitness. Yes, specific muscle building exercises will help, but in my opinion, nothing beats a long hard run.
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    Senior Member catwood1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmwong View Post
    I don't know anything much about lifing weights (no not because I am a girl who refuses to try it) ... I just haven't tried yet.

    I ran XC for 2-3 years in high school. Those 5 miles a day really put me in good shape. Sometimes it's being in better cardiovascular strength that can make the difference in a DE. When you get tired you do stupid things with your fencing. Running also builds muscle, and increases overall fitness. Yes, specific muscle building exercises will help, but in my opinion, nothing beats a long hard run.
    While XC wouldn't hurt, I'd think interval training would be far more effective, as it is the anaerobic experience that fencing is. Also, if you have the time opportunity, I've found just fencing at the club till you can't fence anymore, and continuing to go hard till the end is very effective cardio training for fencing comps. Especially if you're doing 15 touch bouts at club.

    If you're used to fencing 2 or 3 15s in a row, then 1 every 10 minutes isn't too bad. YMMV
    "Sir, didn't I parry"
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    Senior Member shlepzig's Avatar
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    Your mileage will vary

    Quote Originally Posted by kmwong View Post
    Yes, specific muscle building exercises will help, but in my opinion, nothing beats a long hard run.
    Fencing has a lot of physical dimensions. It requires, speed, strength and stamina. As an individual fencer you are going obviously play to your strengths, some people will have more explosive strength potential than others, others will have more endurance potential than others (same is true on the mental side of the game). Each individual has a different physical makeup that will limit or enhance your development in specific areas.

    Ultimately you will want your body to perform at its peak in all these dimensions. You will tailor your game to what you do best, and you should tailor your workouts to improve where you need it most.

    The thread was specifically asking about what to do in the Gym, implying (though not explicitly stating that weight training was the goal). So people jumped on that as the topic.

    My opinion is that you need to vary your workout between strength, speed, recovery and endurance, including mental excercises and drills for muscle memory. Weights (resistance training) should be a component in this, developing strong stabilizing muscles to prevent injury as well as strength and explosive power.

    A good (non-fencing specific) excercise regimen wll also help ensure that your physical development doesn't become too asymetric, which can lead to other injuries.

    My personal gym workout (as my body type is more Governator than one of the Nadi brothers) has less strength training than cardio and explosivity. I focus on interval training and long plyometric sets, and agility ladder work. I also spend time on my drills working for speed and accuracy, and adjusting known issues with my form. I also have started (*groan*) running. In short, I want to get the most of my existing physical strength to the floor, and not poop out after a couple DEs. Ms Wong, wants to make the most out of her existing endurance and obvious physical potential in that area.

    AXFV should talk to his coach and asess his strengths weaknesses and figure out where he should focus. My general opinion that while all the physical dimensions are important, explosive strength and foot and hand speed seems to lend a particular advantage while fencing more than simply strength or endurance (Your mileage will definitely vary).

    -Shlep'

  18. #18
    Senior Member shlepzig's Avatar
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    Know your limitations

    As an additional note to knowing your strengths, it is important to know your limitations.

    I was talking to one of the youth fencers in the program recently. When she saw the ace bandage on my knee under my fencing sock, she asked "What happened to your knee?"

    I replied, "It turned 40 a year ago."

    -Shlep'

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    Senior Member lindajdunn's Avatar
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    Leg Press

    After knee surgery for two meniscus tears, one of the requirements was to do leg extensions (one leg at a time) as well as sitting leg press. I still do these (the goal is every other day) in addition to easing back into the reclining leg press.

    [Yes, I saw the warring posts about this. I'm doing only 120 lbs]

    I also spend some time at the end of the workout in the gym's hot tub as part of my exercise plan. The water is just the right depth for practicing one-legged squats. I also do a Pilate reformer class once a week. [This is with ropes and pulleys, not free-standing.] Only part of the pilate class focuses upon the legs but it's really helped in the recovery effort and keeps me in a stable positions under the supervision of an expert who can correct any form problems.

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    which types of exercise emphasize and build explosive/burst speed?

    Beyond the general fitness and strength needed for fencing, i don't see how lifting big stacks of weight at the gym is going to help your (general you, not anyone specific here) fencing.

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