On the Go Exercises for Getting Prepared for the Army

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Getting ready to join the Army can be a daunting prospect. Boot camp is tough, and your instructors will work hard to get you fighting fit. You can make the whole process a little easier by turning up to boot camp in good shape. There are a number of exercises that you can do while you are on the go to do this. These exercises require little or no exercise equipment and have a good carryover to Army fitness training.

You need to be fit and strong to join the Army.
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Pushups are one of the cornerstones of military fitness training. Used for developing upper-body pushing power, pushups can be performed just about anywhere. Try to accumulate 100 to 200 repetitions every day by dropping down and doing 10 to 20 reps any time you have a couple of free minutes. Squat down, place your hands on the floor under your shoulders and walk your feet back. With your body straight, bend your arms and lower your chest to the floor. No touch equals no rep. Push back up and repeat.

Although largely reliant on mechanized transport, soldiers are still expected to be able to cover long distances on foot, often carrying heavy equipment. To prepare your body for this, look for opportunities to walk as much as you can. Leave your car at home and walk to work; get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of your journey; or simply commit to walking for 30 minutes a day after your evening meal. Try to incorporate running into your weekly fitness schedule. Other than a pair of appropriate shoes, you don't need any special equipment, and you can run almost anywhere.

Pullups develop upper-body pulling power and strength. Pullups are a tough body-weight exercise in which you need to lift your entire weight using only your arms and upper-back muscles. You can perform pullups anywhere you find a suitable overhead bar such as a tree branch, strong door frame or fire escape. Hang from your bar with a shoulder-width, overhand grip. Bend your arms and pull your chin up and over the bar. Lower yourself down and repeat. Try to complete 30 or more repetitions per day in as few sets as possible.

Jumping rope is a favorite exercise of boxers and other fighters and provides a great indoor alternative to running and walking. Make sure your jump rope is the right length by standing on the middle and pulling the handles up to your armpits. If the rope doesn't reach your armpits, discard it, as it is too short. If it is too long, tie knots in it to shorten. Jumping rope will also improve your agility and coordination -- important skills for activities such as obstacle courses and unarmed combat. Replace running or walking with the same duration of jumping rope.

References

  • You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises; Mark Lauren and Joshua Clark
  • ExRx: Pushups
  • ExRx: Pullups
  • U.S. Army Physical Fitness Training; Department of the Army
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