While most of us do some amount of footwork drills, how many make footwork into an aerobic workout? Not too many is my guess.
Generally, we are taught to approach footwork drills on a strip length by strip length basis, not a time basis. This lets the faster fencers finish their sets quicker and get more rest than the less experienced, or slower fencers.
The “I need to do 3 strips of footwork” mentality also hurts many younger fencers who let their form get bad so that they can finish their sets quickly and then “go play”.
While all fencers need to do that repetition for a few sets, we also need to increase our ability to continuously perform footwork over a long period of time.
With that in mind, here is a great footwork conditioning workout.
Each set of footwork is to be done continuously for 2 minutes, then take a 1-minute rest. When you reach the end of the strip, turn around and continue. These sets are to be done in series, so you should do all 7 sets in one session. As your conditioning improves, add another session or try to get your speed up a little more.
- Advance/advance-lunge/on guard.
- Advance/appel-lunge/on guard.
- Advance-lunge/redouble/on guard.
- Jump forward-lunge/redouble/on guard.
- Advance/jump forward-lunge/on guard.
- Jump forward/advance-lunge/on guard.
- (F&E) Appel-lunge/cross lunge/on guard. (S) Appel lunge/redouble/on guard.