What kind of cross-training will help my fencing?

    The best training for fencing is fencing.  Few other sports use the
    same muscle groups, so this is a difficult question whose answer
    depends largely on what aspect of your training you really want to
    focus on.

    Cardiovascular fitness and leg strength always help, so anything that
    enhances these will be beneficial.  Cycling, swimming, and aerobics
    are good examples.  Running, sprinting, soccer, basketball, and
    similar sports can also be helpful, although some athletes dislike
    the stresses they put on the knees.  Racquet sports like tennis,
    badminton, squash, racquetball, and table tennis are also excellent,
    and will exercise your weapon arm and reflexes in addition to your

    Many martial arts have physical and mental demands that are similar
    to fencing, and can improve both your fitness and your intellectual
    approach to the sport.  Technique and tactics very rarely translate,

    Weight training can help, if done properly, but the athlete must
    remember that flexibility, speed, and technique are more important
    than raw strength.  Endurance training should have priority over
    bodybuilding.  Strength training can help, provided it doesn't build
    too much bulk.

    Some fencers maintain that juggling improves reactions, hand-eye
    coordination, and use of peripheral vision.

    Many coaches and fencers suggest occasional fencing or workouts with
    your opposite hand, both to improve skill and balance your muscular

Link to the next chapter: Everything you always wanted to know about right-of-way