Ripped for the rescue – Perform the firefighter’s workout to boost your strength, agility, balance and coordination – which are required to manoeuvre dangerous missions.
TEXT: ALYWIN CHEW
Being fit is a necessity for firefighters, because of the arduous tasks they must perform while on the job. For instance, you would need excellent core strength and cardiovascular capacity for running up stairs dressed in heavy gear. As such, a firefighter’s workout routine revolves around functional fitness.
“A good exercise for firefighters is the medicine ball slam, as it works the abs in multiple planes of motion to increase power and core strength,” says Jamal Bin Moideen, gym supervisor at Fitness Workz at HomeTeamNS.
“Whether it is to force open a door or move heavy equipment, doing these exercises will help to better execute the rotational movement that requires a lot of strength and energy.”
What: A great full-body, cardiovascular exercise to prep you for strenuous activity.
1. Carry a kettlebell or dumbbell that is half your bodyweight in each hand and
walk 20m to 30m.
2. Ensure that you pull your shoulders back, brace your core and keep your chest up.
3. Do 3 sets, with a minute of rest between each.
What: This works the whole body, especially the core and arms.
1. Adopt a push-up position with your elbows slightly bent.
2. Push yourself forward by stretching your left arm out while bringing your right leg to your right elbow.
3. Repeat for the other side, making sure your abs are tensed and your back straight.
4. Crawl 10m per set for 3 to 5 sets.
What: This workout helps condition the shoulders for heavy lifting.
1. Start with a barbell that is about a third of your bodyweight. Rest it on your front shoulders with your feet and back straight.
2. Push the bar above your head, locking your elbows and shrugging your shoulders – this helps to prevent shoulder impingement.
3. Hold the barbell aloft for one second and lower it slowly back to the starting position.
4. Do 8 to 10 reps, for 3 sets.
Medicine Ball Slam
What: Besides being a great way to develop power, speed and hand-eye coordination, ball slams are a great form of stress relief.
1. While keeping your back straight, pick up a medicine ball and bring it above your head, tip-toeing slightly and inhaling.
2. Bend your waist forward and contract your core, slamming the ball down as hard as possible. Exhale when performing this.
3. Do 10 reps for 3 sets.
What: This exercise works many parts of the body, from the muscles along your back to the glutes, hamstrings, shoulders and abs.
1. Hold a 16kg kettlebell between your legs while bending over slightly.
2. Keeping your back flat and looking ahead, bend your hips back and swing the kettlebell till it is behind your legs, then swing it up to eye level, thrusting your hips forward.
3. Perform 20 reps for 4 sets. Increase intensity by swinging the kettlebell above your head.