The road to fitness is paved with tenacity, sweat and hours of training. If you’ve hit a roadblock in your training or if you are looking for some new exercises to mix up your training routine, read on.
Team Lakeland firefighters, who are competing in the Firefighter Combat World Challenge XXIV next week, have been in training mode for months. They have shared some of their favorite exercises with us and we’ve complied a list of 10 everyday exercises to help you be firefighter fit. Take a look and keep up the good work!
1. Jump Rope or Jacks
No one likes to warm up, but it is an essential step as you begin your workout to ensure your muscles are prepared for the rigors of exercise. Kick-start your workout with a jump rope or jumping jacks. Ease into your warm up with 1-2 minutes of either movement.
Bonus Tips: If you want an extra fitness boost, add in either exercise as part of a high intensity interval training routine and you’ll be sure to see great results.
2. Dynamic Stretches
Dynamic stretching involves active movement, which prepares the body for activity in a sport specific manner. Dynamic stretches can help improve range of motion and provide an active way to stretch the body, increase blood flow to muscles and prepare for activity. Team Lakeland member Sean often incorporates high knee jogging into his warm up routine.
3. Cardio Cross Training
As you work your way towards peak fitness, cardio is one of the key considerations you’ll need in your arsenal. But don’t pigeonhole yourself into one type of cardio exercise; cross training can help you see improved fitness results. Consider mixing up your cardio each day. Team Lakeland member Sean finds long distance running and biking to be a great cardio combo, while Ryan alternates rowing and assault bike in his interval training.
4. Agility Training
One of the key elements to any successful workout routine is to alternate long distance cardio with short speed and agility work. Members of Team Lakeland have found success using stairs, interval sprints and speed ladders to enhance their power and speed.
Bonus Tip: Climbing stairs is a great way to add speed training into your workout routine. Challenge yourself by alternating your climbing method: try hitting every stair and every other stair and see how your body responds.
Being firefighter fit means having both strength and endurance to handle the toughest workout, workday or emergency situation. Squats are a great way to build strength in your major muscles groups and they can be done anywhere. While building strength with added weight is beneficial, air squats can be very effective to build muscle mass and strength over time.
6. Pushups and Pull-ups
With so many elaborate fitness programs and machinery options on the market, it is easy to overlook the simple exercises that can keep you in shape. Pushups and pull-ups require no machinery and no weights, and can be done virtually anywhere. Don’t discount the power of your own weight to help you build strength and muscle endurance.
If you are looking for a sure-fire method to see fast results, you need plyometric exercises. Plyos are intended to push your muscles to maximum exertion over a short period of time to help improve power, speed and strength. Members of Team Lakeland integrate box jumps and short bursts of combat challenge course actions, like stairs, into their training routines.
Bonus Tip: String together a few of your favorite plyometric exercises and you’ll have a great high intensity interval-training program. Combine short bursts of maximum exertion with rest, to push yourself and see big results.
Consider adding deadlifts to your workout routine to help balance out your strengthening routine and to hit all of the major muscle groups in your lower body. Deadlifts are a great way to target your hamstrings and gluts, but they can also help strengthen your back muscles.
A strong core is at the heart of optimal fitness. Planks are a great way to use your own body weight to build strength, and with the variety of plank poses, you can always find a way to really target your core. Try incorporating front and side planks into your routine and add in some fitness fusion by alternating between the two in succession.
10. Cool Down and Stretch Out
The last stage of your workout should always include a cool down and stretching session. Not only will it allow you to ease down from your workout, it will help your muscles recover, rebuild and prepare for the next day’s schedule.
Interested in more information on optimizing your training and performance to #GearUp and get firefighter fit? Get the Firefighter Elite Performance Guide!
We’ve teamed up with real firefighters to create the ultimate guide for firefighter performance, which includes: top turnout gear performance info; training tips for building cardio, strength and endurance; a sample weekly training schedule from a firefighter combat challenge competitor; nutrition tips and firehouse recipes, and a firefighter case study. Download your free guide by clicking the link below.
Lakeland Stealth™ Turnout Gear is the ultimate in fire protection technology and is worn in competition by Team Lakeland Fire. Advanced ergonomics combined with cutting edge materials give superior protection with maximum freedom of movement. Learn more about Lakeland Stealth and #GearUp with Lakeland.