Suggested Physical Conditioning Exercises
Overall strength and endurance are important.
- Begin with a 10-minute warm up on a treadmill, stationary bicycle, etc.
- Stretch both the upper and lower body before and after exercise.
Leg Endurance and Strengthening
Squats, Leg Presses, Lunges, Wall SitsIn the beginning, do 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions for muscle endurance.To build strength, increase weight and do 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.Always begin each new exercise with a warm-up set.NOTE: While doing squats, do not go below 90 degrees of knee bend and keep your back straight while rising. Don’t bend forward forward at the waist. Move up and down as if sitting down in/rising from a chair. Keep knees in alignment behind your toes.Leg Extensions (Quadriceps) and Leg Curls (Hamstrings)
- 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions for endurance.
- 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions for strength.
For leg extensions, avoid locking your knees. Stop 5-10 degrees short of terminal extension.
Upper Body Strength (Chest, Triceps, Biceps, Back, Shoulders)
Do 4 sets of 10 repetitions of each of the following:
- Flat bench press
- Shoulder press
- Dips (or pushups)
- Lat pulldowns (or pullups)
- Barbell curls
The Importance of Stretching
Stretch before and after exercising. If you don’t stretch, you’re setting yourself up for muscle damage.Perform these stretches 3-5 times and hold between 10-30 seconds:
- Hamstring stretch
- Quad stretch
- Low back stretch (trunk rotation, single knee to chest)
- Runners stretch for hip flexors
- Bicep stretch (hand on door and turn away from it)
- Tricep stretch (hand behind head)
- Shoulder circles
- Crunches with knees bent for abdominal strengthening
Exercising for Specific Agility Test Elements
For the 6-foot wall climb, it is imperative that you have good upper body (especially tricep) strength. Tricep extensions, seated dips and push ups are excellent for this purpose.For the quarter-mile run/stairs, a good training strategy is to alternate between treadmill and stairmaster: 5 minutes at a run on the treadmill, followed by the stairmaster. Alternate the routine 8-10 times each to build endurance and strength. (Remember, while this test element may appear easy, it is performed at the end of the testing period, when muscles are fatigued. Endurance training for this element is important.)For the dummy drag, practice squats that emphasize using legs and not back muscles to do the work.