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The warm up prior to fencing or training prepares the mind and body for the activity. This is especially important when the fencer has been physically inactive or engaged in passive activities. But most of all warming up and stretching plays a major role in injury prevention as well as improving performance through better movement efficiency and providing an ideal opportunity for mental preparation.

A good warm up routine begins with 5-10 minutes of light general aerobic activity, then moves to Dynamic Stretching for movements that are used in fencing. If required some static stretching for relaxing tight muscle groups and extending movement range if necessary.

The Warm-up Routine:

An effective warm-up routine comprises three parts. Start with aerobic exercise; a light aerobic activity to increase respiration, blood flow, muscle temperature and suppleness. The warm-up as well as helping to improving performance will reduce the risk of injury. The light aerobic warm-up exercise should be followed by stretching (dynamic) and then fencing specific exercises.

Warm-Up Aerobic Exercise:

Easy and continuous for 5-10 minutes; jogging, cycling, skipping to body to raise body temperature, breathing rate and produce a light sweat.

Warm-Up Stretching:

For 5-10 minutes at least, work on movements through their full range and stretching the muscle groups used in fencing. In preference start with dynamic stretching for warming up and static stretching if required if movement range feels limited.

Warm-Up Fencing Specific Exercises:

Carry out movement exercises that are frequently used in fencing, exercising the movement, the movement pattern and the movement coordination. For example the on guard position, arm extension, hitting, the different footwork actions, coordinated with the hitting action, including the attack with a lunge or fleche. The intensity of the activity should rise progressively to maximum.

The fencing specific warm-up can progress to include actual fencing with a partner, initially in a controlled way practicing the movements at real speed and timing, warming up the senses including judgment of distance. Then progress to full competitive speed. This is especially useful in competition where the fencer needs to ensure they are ready to perform at 100% from the very first moment, for the first hit, of the first bout of the competition.

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