The men and women enlisted in the Armed Forces are among some of the most physically-fit people on the planet, and for good reason. It requires a lot of strength, mobility, and endurance to keep our country safe. And, it takes a rigorous fitness routine in order to keep our soldiers always at-the-ready.
If you want to have the body of a soldier, then here are a few military fitness tips to add to your home workout routine this year.
Strengthening the Core
Strengthening your core is one of the most effective ways for avoiding back injuries and other health problems. Unlike conditioning exercises, core exercises can be performed at any time throughout the week. As a result, exercises that focus intently on the body’s core are at the epicenter of every military workout routine.
The Army recommends four basic core strengthening exercises – bent leg raises, side bridges, back bridges, and planks. To get the most bang for your buck, hold each position for 60 seconds before returning to resting position.
One of the most effective ways the Army helps its soldiers improve their endurance is through endurance runs called 30/60s and 60/120s. When doing this type of run, you sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then walk for 60 seconds, then sprint for 30 seconds, and so on. Once you become acclimated to the routine, you can increase the challenge by sprinting for 60 seconds followed by 120 seconds of walking.
Conditioning drills help build up lean muscle mass, shred fat, and improve overall flexibility and mobility. When performing a conditioning exercise, perform between 15 and 20 reps of each before moving on to the next exercise in the sequence. Once you have completed all of the exercises, rest for one to two minutes and then repeat the series again for one or two more routines.
Here are three conditioning routines to add to your daily workout. Perform one routine per day, alternating routines so you don’t focus on the same muscle group on consecutive days.
- Frog Jumps
- Front Kicks (Alternating to Touch)
- Half-Squat Lateral Shuffles
- Jump Lunges
- Quarter-Turn Jumps
- Side-to-Side Knee Lifts
- Single-Leg Dead Lifts
- Straddle Runs (Forward and Backward)
- Sumo Squats
- Tuck Jumps
Maximizing Your Workout Results: What to Eat
Since these can be intense workouts, especially Routine #3, it is crucial that your food intake provide the fuel you need to optimize your results. This means eating a diet consisting of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods. Choose only foods with good carbs and always drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Within 30 to 60 minutes of finishing your workout, you should eat a meal consisting of 0.8 grams of good carbohydrates and 0.2 to 0.4 grams of lean protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight. This will help replenish your body of key of key nutrients and help you lose weight and build muscle faster.