Spring 2022 - 36

However, improving these elements has
been shown to decrease the frequency and
severity of sprains and strains, according to
a research study performed by Matthew T.
Anderson (2002).
There are many approaches to obtaining a
strong core and increasing flexibility. From a
holistic standpoint, yoga is effective for both
flexibility and core strength.
Alternative Exercises That Help Improve Core
Strength:
* Hanging leg raises
* Prone leg raises
* Russian kettlebell Turkish getups
* Russian kettlebell Swings
* Leg lifts
* Planks
* Variations on the sit-up
CARDIOVASCULAR CAPACITY
When engaging in strenuous fireground
activities, firefighters frequently meet or exceed
their theoretical maximum heart rate. Even the
fittest firefighters experience extreme strain on
their bodies while on the fireground.
There are two primary ways to improve
cardiovascular capacity: 1) High-intensity
36 | Tactical Training & Conditioning | Spring 2022
interval training (HIIT) and 2) endurance-based
cardiovascular training.
HIIT combines alternating periods of intense
anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery
periods. Endurance-based cardiovascular training
performs medium-intensity physical activity
that elevates and maintains 70 percent of your
maximum heart rate. For example, this could be
running at a speed of 6-7 MPH for a total of 30
minutes. Alternatives would be 30 minutes of the
following: swimming, biking, rowing, etc.
STRENGTH TRAINING
Strength training is the third fundamental
component of functional fitness. Firefighters
tend to traditionally equate strength training to
lifting weights. However, functional strength
should directly relate to the ability to carry, lift,
drag, push, and pull.
While it is critical to lift heavy things in order
to get stronger; it's also important to focus on
the areas of the muscle groups that demand
the most out of us, such as the legs, shoulders,
triceps, lats, and grip strength.
Taking a functional approach to fitness will
benefit you the most in what you do on the
fireground. n

Spring 2022

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