Strengthening exercises

Here are some very crude video clips we shot today of the strengthening exercises we have begun working with in the Meÿer Halben Stangen class at Gothenburg Historical Fencing School.

Since they are relevant to longsword practice, the article is cross-post into both the Halben Stangen and the Longsword project.

As you can see we are still not performing some of them properly as we are still building enough strength and balance to be able to do that. But, it will give you some ideas on what you can do.

Our focus is currently on building leg strength and balance, combined with the body mechanics and footwork of Meÿer.

We will record these again and replace these raw clips as we get better.

Oh, and sorry for the heavy breathing! Wish I could mute all clips, but YT does not allow that.

Pole Yoga


Make sure your feet, hips and shoulders extend and twist properly. This is basically done to stretch your joints and muscles, but also to train your balance and get you used to the body mechanics of Meyer’s Halben Stangen techniques.

Skipping rope or the “Tom Cruise” (not shown.)

To get some cardio and to strengthen your calves.

Kreutzhauw with weighted staff

The staff has 4kg of weight attached at the end.

Make sure to extend properly by passing through the stances Left Oberhut (Tag) – Gerader Versetzung – Unterhut – Wechselhut – Right Oberhut (Ochs) – (Steurhut) – Nebenhut and back into Left Oberhut.

Be extra careful with the twisting of feet, hips and shoulders.

Jumping Squats / Splits

Try to add some explosivity to the splits and squats here and avoid stabilizing by holding your thigh. If your knees are not good enough, then simply fall forward and push up and back without jumping or do regular squats.

Sideways squats with club

Try to squat a bit lower than I do in the clip (my knees are bad…) Do not swing the club, but rather lift it so you work properly with your shoulders.

The club weighs 6kg/14lbs.

Squat Jacks

Try to stay low throughout the exercise, close to 90 degrees. Look straight forward and try to keep a straight back.

The Clock

Similar to Jumping Splits, but with stepping 5 times with each leg straight and diagonally forwards and back and straight to the side.

Again, try to stay low, close to 90 degrees throughout the exercise and with your back “straight”.

Sexy Pole Dancing (You know you want it…) 

Start with the staff leaning a bit away from you and with your feet about a shoulder width apart. Drop straight down and when almost down; push your hips forward so that your knees almost touch the floor. Keep your back straight.

Try not to hang on to the staff too much when you go up.

Sideways pushups

This exercise should be done with a nice flow, always passing through the initial stance with your legs at almost a 90 degree angle. The pushups are done on one leg, Stretch your foot as far as you can as you go down in your pushup.

The Gorilla

Squat down. Keep your hands close together and your feet close to your hands but outside and slightly behind.

Throw your upper body as far forward as you can and land on your outstretched fingers (if you can) and let your lower body follow so you end up in the same stance you started in.

Sticky Tug-of-War

This exercise should not be done with much force. Instead you should try to mirror or oppose your partner’s actions. If he steps towards you, you retreat. If he steps to his right, you step to your right. If he leans out and steps behind himself you do the same.

Here, we clearly need to work a bit on the stances and footwork.

Cooperate and follow.

This exercise aims for you to later be able to do the same with two staffs and still maintaing a bind.

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