Test Your Firefighter Fitness

Firefighter Fitness | Firefighter Workout

 

Firefighters are “Tactical Athletes” and it is important that we train to meet the specific occupational demands of our job. The term “Firefighter Fitness” refers to the wide array of physical attributes that are required to perform the duties of a firefighter at a high level while remaining injury free.

The TACFIT programs are developed to provide specific and comprehensive physical training for emergency responders. Coach Scott Sonnon has developed a simple “TACFIT Pre-Qualifier” or “Q” that helps responders to evaluate baseline fitness levels. The workout was carefully designed to incorporate movement through all planes of motion and it allows the athlete to assess current mobility, stability, strength and conditioning.

 

Please click here for  video, photos, and detailed instructions to perform Coach Sonnon’s TACFIT Q

 

The TACFIT Q is made up of 6 exercises:

1. Front Step Lunge (right leg step + left leg step = 1 point)

2. Plank Pull Knee (each repetition = 1 point)

3. Sit Thru Knee (right knee through + left knee through = 1 point)

4. Tactical Pushup (each repetition = 1 point)

5. Spinal Rock Knee (each repetition = 1 point)

6. Tripod Vertical (right arm up + left arm up = 1 point)

 

A reasonable score on the “Q” is 40 points. Perform repetitions at maximum effort with proper technique followed by 10 seconds of recovery. Complete the 20/10 interval 8 times (4 minutes). Record points (repetitions counted as listed above) for each 20 second interval. Recover for 1 minute and then move to the next exercise. Complete all 6 exercises and then add low scores for each exercise to calculate total points for the training session. Perform the exercises in the order listed and be sure to include a good warm-up and cool-down.

Please take a close look at each exercise technique and make sure you are comfortable with the movement before attempting the workout. Pay close attention to how you feel during each exercise. Where do you feel limitations in mobility? Where do you feel unstable? Do you feel weaker with certain movements? How fatigued are you? This analysis will help you to address weaknesses that you might have. Be sure to incorporate exercises into your training that will help you to shore up any deficits. Perform the TACFIT Q a few weeks later and make note of how you have improved.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes. Please feel free to post scores in the comments section and send us any questions that you might have.

Train hard and stay safe!

 

 

 

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Assess and Improve Ankle Mobility

firefighter training | firefighter workout

 

Last week we were discussing the importance of proper squat mechanics to optimize performance, avoid pain, and prevent injuries. We often assume that poor mobility in the back and hips is the culprit when we have poor squat mechanics. Often times it is poor ankle mobility, dorsiflexion specifically, that is preventing individuals from achieving a deep healthy squat.  Single leg exercises such as lunges and pistol squats are also adversely impacted. If you are struggling with proper squat mechanics, it is important that you assess and improve ankle mobility.

Michael M. Reinold, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC, CSCS is considered a leader in the field of sports medicine, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement. He has compiled a series of videos that will teach you how to assess and improve ankle mobility:

 

Assessing and Improving Ankle Range of Motion  

 

Incorporate some of these simple exercises into your firefighter fitness routine, and you will see your squat mechanics improve in no time.

 

Train hard and stay safe!

Improve Your Squat Mechanics

 

firefighter workout | firefighter fitness

When was the last time you took a close look at your body weight squat? If it has been a while, chances are you may need to improve your squat mechanics. The basic body weight squat is the foundation for all human movement, but many people struggle with it. Some never learned to squat properly and some lack the mobility to perform a deep body weight squat. The key components of the body weight squat are as follows:

  • Head in a neutral position
  • Torso upright
  • Lumbar spine in a strong/stable position
  • Feet shoulder width apart
  • External rotation at the hip
  • Hip crease below your knees
  • Knees over, but not beyond toes
  • Weight on heels

 

It is important to develop this movement with proper technique for a variety of reasons:

1. Improved Performance – Performing the squat with proper mechanics will ensure that you are developing your glutes, legs, and core properly.  When performed with poor mechanics, you will leak power and limit your ability to progress in your training.

2. Avoid Pain – Much of the pain that people experience is due to excessive tension in soft tissue or muscle imbalances in the body. Common compensations for the inability to squat properly include external rotation of the feet, medial collapse of the knees, and pitching forward at the waist. These compensations will lead to pain in the knees, hips, and back. They also limit the ability to achieve optimal performance.

3. Injury Prevention – Many people will attempt to “power through” bad form to achieve their “numbers” in a specific workout. They will keep moving with bad form to achieve more reps or lift more weight. This will cause pain as indicated above in the short term, and will eventually lead to serious injury.

Remember, firefighter fitness is not about how many reps you can do, or how much weight you can lift during your workout. It is about optimizing performance while remaining pain free and preventing injuries.

The following video links feature excellent coaches providing a variety of tips and drills to improve your squat mechanics:

 

Kelly Starrett:  The 10 Minute Squat

Ido Portal:  Ido’s Squat Clinic Routine

Ryan Hurst:  Body Weight Squat Technique

 

Incorporate some of these drills and techniques into your daily training and you will see improvement in your squat mechanics and performance in general.

Train hard and stay safe!

 

 

Five Ways to Improve Movement and Performance

 


firefighter fitness | firefighter training

Are you looking for ways to move better and improve your performance?  Our good friends at Gold Medal Bodies have identified five simple things that may be hampering your efforts.  Do any of these apply to you?

1. You’re Training For Ego

2. You’re Too Stiff

3. You Don’t Have A Coach

4. You’re Weak

5. You Workout, But You Don’t Practice

 

Check out the full article here:  Five Reasons Why You Still Move Like Crap

 

Remember, our goal is to train harder and smarter!

Stay safe out there,

Christian and Ryan