Valkyrie Fitness Bit #20: Front and Back Levers

Tuck Front Lever

The Front and Back Lever are very challenging holds that require a lot of back and abdominal strength to pull off. Transitioning from one to the other is also a serious test of shoulder stability and strength, as the body must be kept balanced under load through a very large range of motion.

Read more

Valkyrie Fitness Bit #19: Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups

Final position of the L-Sit Chinup

The Pull-Up and Chin-Up are two of the most iconic bodyweight exercises, and are a great and very challenging way to build power in your shoulders’ upper arc of rotation, as well as the upper back, biceps, and pectorals. Both exercises require you to lift your entire weight from a deadhang, and the grip difference between the two subtly changes which muscles do the most work, with the chinup engaging the biceps far more strongly.

Read more

Valkyrie Fitness Bit #18: Ring Holds

External Arm Rotations in the Straight Hold

Straight holds are excellent starting exercises on the gymnastic rings. On their own, they help to build strength in the shoulders and major stabilizing muscles (especially the pectorals and latissimus dorsi). As the foundation of a longer ring-based workout, they help build the shoulder stability necessary to safely manage more complex actions.

Read more

Valkyrie Fitness Bit #16: Shoulder Work

In the third part of our prehabilitation mini-series, we’re focusing on the most vulnerable of a fencer’s joints: the shoulder. All swordplay is tough on the shoulders, and rapier is particularly so, as it uses a single arm. There’s a lot of work you can do on grip and alignment to ensure that you’re not taxing the shoulder of your sword arm more than necessary, but careful warmups and prehabilitation also play an important role in maintaining long-term shoulder health.

Read more