Improve Firefighter Strength for

Pulling Ceiling and Raising Ground Ladders


Firefighter Workout | Firefighter Fitness | CPAT

The TACFIT Fire Fighter Exercise of the Week is the “Med Ball Overhead Press”. This is a great exercise for building strength and stability for overhead work such as pulling ceiling and raising ground ladders. It is also an excellent exercise to utilize when preparing for simulations of these tasks in the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).

Occupational Relevance

  • Pulling ceiling with a pike pole or similar tool.
  • Raising ground ladders (parallel raise or beam raise).
  • Lifting tools overhead.
  • CPAT prep


Coaching Cues

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Grip the sides of the med ball (do not place hands underneath).
  • Begin with the med ball on your chest.
  • Activate core, glutes, and thighs.
  • Hinge at the hips and press the med ball overhead.
  • Pack your shoulders, lock your elbows, and press your palms together.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.


When performing this exercise, focus on maintaining stability through the shoulders, core, and hips. This is a full body exercise, not an “upper body” exercise. Hold the med ball overhead for a one or two second count as you squeeze your palms together. This will create a stability challenge that will help you to build strength for any overhead work that you might perform on the fire ground, drill ground, or during the CPAT.

Check out this video for detailed instruction and demonstration:



Firefighter Workout | Firefighter Fitness| CPAT