Military

SECTION V

TTP FOR MAINTAINING PHYSICAL FITNESS


Units deployed on peace operations do not have the luxury to conduct physical training on a daily basis. Maintaining a high level of fitness is very difficult when facilities are not available or extreme environmental considerations stand in the way.

Task Force Eagle had varying limitations from one camp to the next. While some base camps had the luxury of an improved running route, many camps had poor running routes or none at all. Most of the limitations were due to force protection. Many camps were located in areas where the threat was assessed as too high for individual soldiers to conduct physical training without weapons and often areas had not been cleared of mines. While these limitations reduced the ability of units to perform physical training, equipment was provided for soldiers to help maintain their level of fitness. MWR (USAEUR) provided each base camp with strength training and aerobic equipment. This equipment arrived at most camps within 90 days upon the unit's arrival.

Task Force Eagle established a policy that there would be no organized physical training. Although this policy reduced commanders' abilities to establish and maintain physical training programs, units took the initiative and developed many team or individual programs.

Some level of deconditioning will occur during extended operations. The primary reason for conducting physical training during operations is to maintain fitness levels as much as operational security and available resources permit. Maintaining flexibility and muscular strength endurance fitness levels will be easier to accomplish than maintaining cardiorespiratory endurance fitness levels until soldiers can resume normal physical training.

While deployed, leaders should ensure that flexibility, muscular strength endurance, and cardiorespiratory endurance are addressed in physical training programs. Guidelines for a deployed physical training program are addressed below.

Flexibility: All major muscle groups. Frequency - three times per week. Intensity - hold to tension, not pain. Time - hold each stretch 10-15 seconds for warm-up/cool-down and 30 seconds or longer for flexibility improvement. Type - static or passive stretching

Muscular Strength Endurance (MSE): All major muscle groups. Frequency - minimum of two times per week. Intensity - Temporary muscle failure. Time - until completion of training session (usually 30-45 minutes). Type - Partner-resisted exercises (PREs), Timed sets of push-ups and sit-ups, Calisthenics, Sand-bag circuits, Rifle drills.

Cardiorespiratory (CR): Frequency - minimum of three times per week. Intensity - 70-80% Max Heart Rate (MHR); MHR=220-age. Time - 20 minutes or longer. Type - Running, Jumping rope, Jogging in place, Stair-stepping (stepping up and down on any sturdy surface that is 16-20 inches high).

Examples of various programs used to maintain team and individual fitness include:

Warm-up/Cool-down

Warm-Up: 5-7 Minutes

Run in place - 60-120 seconds
Rotational Exercises
Neck Rotation20 seconds (10 seconds each direction)
Abdominal Stretch10 seconds
Chest10 seconds
Upper back10 seconds
Overhead Arm Pull20 seconds (10 seconds each arm)
Thigh20 seconds (10 seconds each leg)
Hamstring20 seconds (10 seconds each sitting and standing)
Groin10 seconds (Seated)
Calf (Toe Pull)20 seconds (10 seconds each leg)
Hip and Back20 seconds (10 seconds each side) (sitting)
Calisthenics: Conduct calisthenics or movements that mimic the activities done during the conditioning period.

Cool-Down

Gradually achieve resting state by reducing intensity. Walk for 1-2 minutes. Get heart rate at or below 100 BPM. Utilize static stretches from warm-up concentrating on muscle groups worked during exercise period. Flexibility improvement - hold static stretches 30-60 seconds. Static, passive, or PNF techniques can be utilized.

Sandbag Circuit

The sandbag circuit uses sandbags to provide resistance while conducting various exercises. Sandbags will be filled to three levels. Full sand bags will be referred to as red. Three quarter full sandbags as blue. Half full sandbags as white. There are 12 exercises in the sandbag circuit. Soldiers should do each exercise for approximately 11/2 minutes. Two rotations through the circuit should take approximately 40 minutes. The exercises are listed below.

Type ExerciseType SandbagACTION
Squat RedStand with feet approximately shoulder-width apart and sandbags on shoulders. Bend knees with back straight keeping your heels on the ground. Squat until thighs are parallel to ground and return to starting position.
LungeRedStand with feet approximately shoulder-width apart and sandbags on shoulders. Lunge forward by stepping with left foot. Bend the left knee until the thigh is parallel with the ground. Ensure the left knee is over the left foot; ensure that the back remains straight. Return to the starting position and repeat action with the right leg.
Heel RaiseRedStand with feet together and sandbags on shoulders. Rise upward on toes and balls of feet to full extension, then lower heels slowly back down. A board may be used to increase range of motion. Toes can be modified pointing inward and outward.
Push-upRed, Blue, WhiteAssume front leaning rest position. Partner ensures that sandbag remains on upper portion of back. Bend elbows keeping body straight until upper arm is parallel to the ground, then return to the starting position.
Bent-over RowRed, BlueGrasp sandbag with both hands keeping head up, knees slightly bent, and back parallel to the ground. Bend elbows, bringing sandbag up in a straight motion to the lower portion of the chest and slowly return to the starting position.
Over- Head PressRed, Blue, WhiteStand with feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Place hands, palm up, directly above shoulders. Keep back straight. Partner should then place sandbags in each hand. Keeping elbows out, press one sandbag upwards until arm is straight. Return to starting position and repeat with other hand.
ShrugRed, Blue, WhiteStand with feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Grasp one sandbag in each hand allowing them to hang at arm's length. Keep back straight. Raise shoulders upward toward ears. Squeeze at the top position, then lower shoulders to starting position.
Upright RowRed, BlueStand with feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Grasp one sandbag in each hand allowing them to hang at arm's length. Keep back straight. Pull sandbag up toward chin while keeping elbows high. Lower slowly to starting position.
Tricep ExtensionRed, Blue, WhiteStand with feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Place hands behind head with elbows close to your ears. Keep back straight. Partner puts sandbag in hands. Raise sandbag upward to full extension while keeping elbows close to your ears. Slowly return sandbag to starting position.
Bicep CurlsBlue, WhiteStand with feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Grasp sandbag with each hand and allow them to hang at arm's length. Keep back straight. Curl sandbag with one hand (palm up) to shoulder height. Lower sandbag slowly to starting position. Repeat action with other arm.
DeadliftRedStand with feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Bend knees and assume a squatting position. Keep back straight. Grasp sandbags from a squatting position and stand erect. Recover slowly to the starting position.
Sit-upRed, Blue, WhiteAssume starting position for the sit-up. Partner places sandbag on chest. Grasp sandbag and raise body forward to a vertical position. Slowly lower body until upper portion of back touches ground.

Cardiorespiratory Endurance Circuit.

The cardiorespiratory endurance circuit consists of 14 exercises. It should take about 50 minutes to go through the circuit three times. During the first rotation, soldiers should conduct the exercise for 60 seconds. Time for each exercise during the second rotation should be 45 seconds. For the third, 30 seconds.

The majority of the exercises are known by nearly everyone in the Army. Only the exercises not easily recognized will be discussed.

EXERCISE ACTION
Run in place
Push-up
Side-straddle hop
Sit-up
Ski-jumpStand with feet together. Hands should be positioned at sides like holding ski poles. With feet together, jump sideways to the left and then repeat the action to the right. A moderate cadence should be used.
Wide-arm push up
Supine bicycleLie on your back. Hips and knees should be flexed and hands grasped behind head. Bring left knee upward while curling trunk upward and touch the right elbow to the left knee. Repeat action with other leg and elbow. A slow cadence should be used.
Twisting (Rocky) sit-up
X-country skierAttention is the starting position. Jump and move left foot forward and right foot backward; simultaneously move right arm forward to shoulder height and left arm backward as far as possible. Keep arms straight, palms facing each other. Repeat action with opposite foot and arm.
Close Hand push-up
All-Fours Run (Bear Crawl)
Crunch
The EngineStand with arms straight in front of body parallel to the ground with palms facing down. Bring left knee up to the left elbow. Return to the start position. Touch the right knee to the right elbow; return to the start position. Use a moderate cadence.
Flutter kick

Partner Resistance Exercise (PRE) Circuit.

The PRE circuit consists of 14 exercises. It should take about 50 minutes to go through the circuit three times. During each rotation, soldiers should conduct between 12-15 repetitions of the exercise. Partners should provide enough resistance so the exerciser achieves temporary muscle failure after the 12-15 repetitions. At least two people are necessary to conduct the exercise circuit.

ExerciseACTION
Single leg SquatExerciser: Face your partner and grasp wrists. Extend your right leg in front; keep it straight, but don't let it touch your partner. Lower yourself in a controlled manner. Next, return to the upright position. After 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure, repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Resister: Provide stability to the exerciser along with resistance or assistance as needed. When the exerciser can do more than 15 reps, apply appropriate resistance that results in temporary muscle failure in 12-15 reps.

Leg ExtensionExerciser: Lie face down with one leg straight and one leg flexed at the knee. Move your heel as close to your buttocks as possible. Extend your knee against the partner's resistance. Next, resist your partner's efforts as he returns you to the starting position. Do 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure. Repeat this exercise with the other leg.

Resister: Support the leg being exercised by placing your foot under the exerciser's thigh just above the knee. Resist while exerciser extends the leg. Next, apply upward pressure to return the exerciser to the starting position.

Leg CurlExerciser: Lie face down with your legs extended. Flex one leg against your partner's resistance until your heel is as close to your buttocks as possible. Next, resist your partner's efforts as he returns your leg to the starting position. Do 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure. Repeat this exercise with the other leg.

Resister: Support the leg being exercised by placing your foot under the exerciser's thigh just above the knee. Resist the exerciser's movement with your hands placed on his heel. Next, apply downward pressure to return the exerciser to the starting position.

Heel Raise (bent over)Exerciser: Form a 90-degree angle between your upper body and legs by bending over at the hips. Use an additional partner or fixed object for support. Keep legs straight and rise up on the balls of your feet. Do 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure. If possible, perform this exercise by placing the balls of your feet firmly on a 4X4 board or the edge of a curb. Be sure to lower and raise your heels as far as possible.

Resister: Sit on the upper part of the exerciser's buttocks. Do not sit on the exerciser's lower back. Provide resistance to the exerciser with your bodyweight.

Toe RaiseExerciser: Sit on the floor with your legs together, knees straight, and feet fully extended. Against the resister's efforts, move your toes toward your knees; then have the resister put your toes back to the starting position while you resist. Do 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure.

Resister: Place your hands on the exerciser's shoelaces near the toes. Press your palms against the exerciser's insteps to resist his foot movements. Resist the exerciser's efforts to pull his foot toward his knees. Next pull the exerciser's toes back to the starting position against his resistance.

Push-upExerciser: Assume a front-leaning rest position. Perform a push-up against your partner's resistance. Do 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure.

Resister: Straddle the exerciser's hips. Place your hands on top of his shoulders. Apply pressure against the exerciser's push-up movements

Seated RowExerciser: Sit facing the resister with your back straight. Overlap your legs with the resister's, being sure to place your legs on top. Establish a good grip by interlocking your hands with the resister's or by firmly grasping wrists. The exerciser's palms should be facing downward. Pull the resister toward you with a rowing motion while keeping your elbows elevated to shoulder height. Be sure to keep your back straight and move only the arms. Next slowly return to the starting position as the resister pulls your arms forward. Do 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure.

Resister: Face the exerciser and sit with your back straight. Place your legs under the exerciser's legs; establish a good grip by interlocking hands with exerciser or by firmly grasping wrists. As the exerciser pulls, resist his pulling motion. Next slowly pull the exerciser back to the starting position by pulling with the muscles of your lower back.

Overhead PressExerciser: Sit with your legs crossed and your back straight. Raise your hands to shoulder height with your palms flat and facing upward. Move your arms slowly upward to full extension against your partner's resistance. Next, slowly return to the starting position as the resister applies downward pressure. Do 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure.

Resister: Face the exerciser with your arms extended obliquely forward. Provide stability to the exerciser along with resistance or assistance as needed. When the exerciser can do more than 15 reps, apply appropriate resistance that results in temporary muscle failure in 12-15 reps.

Pull-downExerciser: Sit with your legs crossed and back straight. Raise and cross your arms behind your head with your elbows bent. Pull out and down with your elbows against the partner's resistance until your elbows touch the ribcage. Next, resist as your partner pulls your elbows back to the starting position. Do 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure.

Resister: Stand behind the exerciser and support his back with the side of your lower leg. Place your palms underneath the exerciser's elbows. Resist the exerciser's movement. Next, apply upward pressure to return the exerciser to the starting position.

ShrugExerciser: Sit with your legs crossed, back straight and hands resting in your lap. Shrug your shoulders as high as possible against your partner's resistance, then resist your partner's pushing motion as you return to the starting position. Do 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure.

Resister: Stand behind the exerciser and support his back with the side of your lower leg. Place your hands on each of the exerciser's shoulders. Apply pressure downward with your hands to resist the upward, shrugging motion of the exerciser, and, during the second phase of the exercise, push downward as the exerciser resists your pushing motion.

Triceps ExtensionExerciser: Sit with your legs crossed and back straight. Clasp your hands and place them behind your head while bending your elbows. Extend your arms upward against the partner's resistance. Next, return to the starting position while resisting your partner's force. Always keep your elbows stationary and pointing straight ahead. Do 12-15 reps to temporary muscle failure.

Resister: Stand behind the exerciser and support his back with the side of your lower leg. Place your hands, palms down, over the exerciser's hands. Apply pressure to resist the upward movement of the exerciser, and then push his hands back to the starting position.

Biceps ExtensionExerciser: Stand straight with your back supported. Hold the arm to be exercised close to your side. Bend the elbow, bringing your hand up to your shoulder against your partner's resistance. Return to the starting position by resisting the pushing efforts of your partner. Do 12-15 reps to muscle failure; repeat with other arm.

Resister: Face the exerciser with your feet staggered. Use one of your hands to grasp the exerciser's wrist; place the other hand behind his elbow to stabilize it during the exercise movement. Resist the exerciser's upward movement and provide a downward, pushing force during the lowering movement.

Abdominal CurlExerciser: Lie on your back with both legs bent at the knees to about a 90-degree angle. Place your bent legs over the resister's back. Interlace your fingers behind your neck. Do regular sit-ups, bringing both elbows to your knees.

Resister: Kneel with your inside elbow resting on the ground. With your outside arm, reach back and hold the exerciser's ankles. Provide a firm foundation upon which the exerciser can place his legs and keep them tightly anchored during the exercise.

Abdominal CrunchExerciser: Lie down with your arms crossed over your chest, the backs of your lower legs resting over your partner's back, and your upper leg placed at right angles to the floor. Curl your neck off the ground and curl your upper body up toward your knees. Hold this position briefly while forcefully tensing your abdominal muscles. Return slowly to the starting position and repeat. Do 20-50 reps to temporary muscle failure.

Resister: Kneel with both forearms on the ground. Allow the exerciser to place the back of his lower legs on your back. Do not hold his legs down.

LESSONS LEARNED:

tick.gif 0.06 KPhysical fitness levels drop within two-four weeks of reduced physical activity.

tick.gif 0.06 KMaintaining muscular strength endurance and flexibility fitness levels is easier than maintaining cardiorespiratory endurance fitness levels.

tick.gif 0.06 KDuring deployment, METT-T will drive physical training programs.

tick.gif 0.06 KDue to continuous operations, soldiers will be forced to develop individual physical training programs.

tick.gif 0.06 KMaster fitness trainers are a combat multiplier for maintaining physical fitness. Commanders can use master fitness trainers to ensure that individual physical training programs are sufficient to maintain fitness.


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