Core-stability training

An aspect of the strength and fitness training that is often forgotten by fencers, is core-stability training. This training focuses on the abdominal and dorsal muscles and it forms the basis for a good balance. During the preparation for the upcoming season, we have been working on these muscles, but we recommend to our fencers to perform these exercises in their own time, to maintain or even advance their core-stability strength.

Warming-up

The warming-up consists of two parts. First you should go for a run of approximately 5 km. If you have no or just a little experience with running, I recommend to slowly build your run. You could do that with this exercise routine. If you have a little more running experience, but have never taken a run of 5 km, you could use this exercise routine to build your running distance. After the warming-up run of 5 km, a set of exercises is used to increase your heart rate, before starting with the main part of the training. You can find this in the table below.

# repetitionsExerciseNotes
50Jumping Jacks
40Mountain climbers
30Sit-upsKeep your shoulders of the ground and don't come all the way up. This ensures that you keep your muscles under tension.
20Burpees
10SquatsMake sure your knees stay behind your toes and keep your back straight.
Before starting this exercise routine, you should take a rest of 2 minutes and after you have finished this set of exercises you should also take a 2 minute rest. If you are in doubt of the execution of certain exercises, please have a look at the bottom of this post, where video explanations can be found.

Circuit

The circuit that I show in the table below, must be executed for a number of times. I have added ways to decrease or increase the difficulty level of some of these exercises, so that you can all find your own exercise level. To build up your exercise routine, I recommend to start with 5 repetitions of the circuit, with 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest. After each full set you should rest for 2 minutes, before starting the next round. The execution can again be found at the bottom of this post.

#ExerciseEasierMore difficult
1Push-upsOn hands en knees
2Sit-ups
3High plank, low plank changeStay in high plank
4Russian twists
5Sideways plank leftMoving your hips up and down or bringing your right arm and leg up
6SupermanKeep your arms closer to your bodyExtend your arm further.
7Sideways plank rightMoving your hips up and down or bringing your leftarm and leg up

To build your exercise routine further, after 3 weeks of exercising twice per week, you can increase the exercise time to 30 seconds and keep the rest at 10 seconds. Bring the number of rounds down to 4 in this case. After another 3 weeks, the exercise time can be increased to 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest. The number of rounds should then be decreased to 3. If you only do these exercises once a week, I recommend to keep with the initial times.

Plankfest

To finish the training one final set of exercises is presented, but before starting this I recommend 5 minutes of active rest. Have a relaxed 5 minute run, before starting the next set of exercises. Only perform this set once and use an exercise time of 30 seconds, without any rest between the exercises. After this set of exercises, you are finished with the training.

#Exercise
1High plank
2Low plank
3Sideways plank left
4Sideways plank right
5Low plank
6High plank

Execution

I have made a summary of the execution of all exercises in the form of instructional Youtube video’s.

Jumping jacks

Mountain climbers

Sit-ups

Burpees

Squats

Push-ups

Plank, several variants

Russian twist

Superman