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Combining Aerobics with Fencing

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Analyzing the issues of asymmetry in the strength of fencer's bodies and the effectiveness of combining Aerobics with Fencing on their muscles by a new sport AeroFencing

Mina Esfanjani,

Editor note: This month we have a guest post by Mina Esfanjani, who has been developing and testing a new training method: AeroFencing. She is sharing her results with WFencing readers as a brief scientific paper [a new format for us!] in the hope that our greater community can benefit. Thank you, Mina!


This paper attempts to introduce AeroFencing as a new sport training technique, in which athletes combine rhythmic choreography with footwork and handwork of fencing with elements of aerobic and aerobic dance to music. Additionally, it reports the results of an experiment that aimed to combine aerobic exercise and fencing (AeroFencing) for improving asymmetric fencing exercise and reducing injuries. Fencers from the experimental group underwent four-week AeroFencing training, while those from the control group underwent regular fencing training. The fencers' performance was analyzed twice: before the practical training (pretest) and after four weeks of training (posttest) in the Columbus Fencing & Fitness gym. Participants underwent three tests that studied the anaerobic power and speed of the dominant and non-dominant sides of the body. The fencers from the experimental group generally performed better in posttests than on pretests. Although these results show AeroFencing training can be effective in foil and saber fencing training, to be fully effective, AeroFencing should be used as a regular training tool.

Keywords: AeroFencing, Aerobics choreography, fencing training, asymmetric


AeroFencing (AF) is a relatively new sport training technique in which athletes perform combining rhythmic choreography with footwork and handwork of fencing with elements of aerobic and aerobic dance to music. The researcher recently introduced AeroFencing to improve asymmetric fencing exercises. Previously an array of researchers discussed Transfer Training in Fencing and the effects of specific muscle imbalance improvement training on balance ability; however, some of them designed some special training for special part of the body.However, aerobic activity is a potent stimulus for improving mental health and developing asymmetric muscles. This type of exercise can more strongly affect the large and short muscles of the body. Asymmetrical muscle development resulting from specialized fencing exercises and continuous use of the upper body affect the functional ability of people in all areas of their lives, such as psychological and behavioral systems, and self-perception. In other words, in addition to affecting cognitive actions, asymmetrical muscle development also disrupts motor performance. Aerobic dance exercises are a combination of movements that use both sides of the body. The stability of the body muscles results from development via abdominal and lumbar-pelvic exercises. If there is a weakness or lack of coordination in the structure of the body muscles, it can lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of correct movement patterns, compensatory movement patterns, muscle strain, overworking, and eventually damage. Over the years, injury rehabilitation has shifted from strengthening the body by using new exercises to achieve movements of the significant kinetic chains to neuromuscular exercises, which include balance and using sensory information about body posture. Recently, injury rehabilitation has begun to focus on body stability exercises. AeroFencing aims to address these issues by training those in an asymmetric sport (fencing) to be more symmetrical, strong, and stable.

Materials and Methods


The group studied consisted of twenty-five foilists and saberists aged 10–14, boys and girls. The participants were randomly divided into two groups: (A) experimental (n = 13) and (B) control (n = 12). The randomization was balanced for sex and performance level. All participants were healthy and post-puberty. The experimental group underwent a four-week specialized AeroFencing training including resistance band exercise and aerobic steps (described below), while the control group underwent traditional fencing training .All the participants were informed about the purpose of the study and agreed to participate on a voluntary basis.

AeroFencing class and moves

AeroFencing is a choreographed, repetitive basic movement of fencing and aerobic dance routine set to music. A typical AeroFencing program begins with 5 to 10 minutes of warm-up. The general goals of the warm-up include gradually increasing the body temperature, HR, and blood flow to active muscles. This prepares the body physiologically for performing an activity that will demand energy expenditure above resting levels. The second step uses choreographed AeroFencing routines through the performance of short combinations of different basic fencing motions mixed with aerobic dance, the development of a full choreography to a final song, or dancing to other songs independently. Participants must pay attention to the angle of the foot, and most of the exercises have to be designed to be done in the same choreography on both sides of the body equally. The last step is 5 minutes of working in a group of 2 people as opponents, using both sides of their bodies and coordinated to the rhythm of the music. The amount of energy expended during a class session of AeroFencing can vary dramatically according to the intensity of the exercise. 'Low intensity' dance exercise is usually characterized by less large muscle activity and less low extremity impact and music of slower tempo; however, 'high intensity' AeroFencing entails using large muscle groups. Choreography was designed using: Running backward, fencing step touch, fencing mambo, fencing grape vine, fencing pivot, fencing step side,fencing twist, fencing cross step, fencing lunge, fencing double attack, fencing advance and retreat, fencing fleche, fencing jump forward and backward, fencing parry, and fitness squat and lunge.

AeroFencing choreography model:

An Aerobic dance choreography combines movements set to a specific count on both sides of the body. Aerobic routines are based on music counts. Beginner exercises are performed on counts of two. For example, lifting and lowering the right knee is a two-count movement. This can be changed into a four-count routine by adding a lift and lowering of the left knee. Exercises are combined to fill out 16 counts. A 16-count pattern fits with the musical rhythms. Repeating this pattern gives a 32-count routine that will flow with current music styles. The most crucial point in AeroFencing training is that athletes can simultaneously train equally on both sides of their bodies. However, in routine footwork training, the dominant side usually works more than the other side. The experiment aimed to compare the anaerobic power and speed in the dominant and non-dominant sides of the body before and after the AeroFencing training. The specialized training program was implemented in the experimental group for four weeks, 30 minutes a session for 3 times a week. All exercises were practiced equivalently on the dominant and non-dominant sides and used 6" speed hurdles and a resistant aerobic band for one week. For each participant, three experiments were considered:

1-vertical jump test

2- moving the total length of the strip from end to end on the dominant and non-dominant sides

3-Straight Trust and Cut the mask.



The AeroFencing Training effect was significant for all tests of dominant and non-dominant sides. However, the left side had more progress. In addition, fencers in experimental classes learned footwork more quickly in comparison to the control classes. In addition, all experimental classes had more fun in a dynamic instead of a traditional way of warmup. This way of teaching footwork and warming up shows that these types of exercise could significantly affect both anaerobic power and the speed and power of the dominant and non-dominant sides. It can be used as a complementary exercise in the fencing club. Coaches can use all kinds of exercise in different routines. Also, AeroFencing can be taught in aerobic sports clubs to prepare athletes for participating in fencing classes. This researcher hopes that presenting this type of warmup will assist fencers in having symmetrical muscles and fewer injuries in the long term.

About Mina Esfanjani

I was a member the Iranian national foil team and participated in the world competition and Asian competition. I fenced for more than 20 years. And I have taught fencing and aerobics for more than five years. I hope I can develop AeroFencing as a good way of warming up by showing this way to other coaches in fencing clubs and add this as a new sport in a fitness club for introducing fencing.

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