The 3 Ways Medieval Knights Would Work Out and Stay Fit

Further ReadingMedieval Knights: What A Group Of Knights Were Called

There are 3 ways that medieval knights would work out and train. Often a knight’s training would start at a young age of around 7 or 6 years old. Further, the training of knights would change depending upon the time period. However, what follows is generally what all medieval knights would do to train and stay physically fit.

From an early age a Knight must workout and train to be fit and ready for combat. First, knights were expected to swim, dive, run, jump, and climb while in full armor. Second, Knights would continuously train combat abilities such as riding, fencing, and wrestling. Third, Knights were expected to participate in knight tournaments to prepare for battle.

The life of a knight involved nonstop training both physically and mentally. From this came the age of medieval chivalry that lasted from 600 AD up until knights started to get phased out around the 16th century. Much of a medieval knights training regimen came from the late Roman Empire who trained their legionaries similarly.

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Without further ado, here are the 3 ways medieval knights would work out and stay fit.

Medieval Knights Were Expected To Swim, Dive, Run, Jump, And Climb While In Full Armor

One of the main ways that medieval knights would stay fit and work out was to constantly physically train in their armor.

Historians have primary source evidence that demonstrates that contrary to popular belief knights were incredibly fast and mobile in their armor.

The reason for this speed was that from the age of 15 knights were expected to train constantly in swimming, running, diving, climbing, and jumping while wearing their full suit of armor.

The reason that today we believe that knights were slow and cumbersome on the ground is because of wartime propaganda designed to make less trained and equipped militaries mentally ready to fight the professionally trained knights.

As a result of training athletics while wearing their armor medieval knights would become incredibly strong. A medieval knight of the modern era would resemble a modern professional weightlifter as their armor easily weighed up to 50 lbs.

Simply put, one of the main ways that medieval knights would work out and stay fit was just by training everyday in their armor. Wearing suits of armor up to 50 lbs. everyday would lead to increased strength and agility.

Medieval Knights Would Continuously Train Combat Abilities

One of the main ways that medieval knights would work out and stay fit was by training combat abilities such as riding, fencing, and wrestling.

There are numerous accounts of knights sparring with each other to both practice their combat abilities and gain a little extra physical training on the side.

There are countless medieval tales such as King Arthur that detail the nature of these friendly duels between knights. The purpose of these duels was simply just practice the knights combat skills so they were prepared.

The practice of wrestling for knights was both a great work out and vital training. In combat knights would be expected to be prepared to fight on the ground against their combatant.

In order to prepare for this as well the knight would engage in wrestling wearing full armor. This would mean that the knight would train while wearing between 30-50 lbs. covering their entire body.

This was a great way for the medieval knight to build muscle, cardiovascular strength, and practice their ground technique.

As such, the constant practicing of their combat abilities remain one of the main ways that medieval knights would work out and stay fit.

Medieval Knights Were Expected To Participate In Knight Tournaments To Train

There are 3 ways that a medieval knight would work out and stay fit for combat. From tourneys to swimming knights would constantly train.

Another way that medieval knights would work out and stay fit was by participating in knight tournaments to prepare for combat.

Across Medieval Europe tournaments were held to celebrate major events in a kingdom. These events could be marriage of the monarch, a noble birth, conquests, or for diplomatic reasons.

The knights themselves would gain both prestige and goods from competing in these tournaments. However, the real allure for the knights was the ability to practice and train with some of the best knights of the region.

Contrary to popular belief a medieval tournament did not focus upon the now famous joust. Instead it was built around ground melee combat where all knights were divided into two groups on horseback.

Sometime around noon the knights would be given a signal by the monarch. To the medieval peasants’ delight these two groups of peasants would then charge at each other and engage in military sparring until either one side gave up or the sun went down.

This all day tournament would allow the medieval knight to work out and train with some of the best knights in his region. The winners of tournaments often traveled far across medieval Europe to challenge other groups of knights.

This opportunity to train and workout with some of the best knights across the land was one of the main ways that medieval knights would work out and stay fit.

Conclusion

There you have it; an entire article that goes over the 3 ways medieval knights would work out and stay fit.

The medieval era would last from the fall of Rome up through the European Renaissance in the 16th century. During this time medieval knights were expected to train and workout nonstop. As such their popularity as elite soldiers remains to this day.

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Sincerely,

Nick