An important piece of the firefighter’s job description is keeping yourself in top physical shape.
Firefighters need to be strong, limber, and have good cardiovascular health to meet the demands of the job. Whether a call involves running to or from a burning building or other emergency scene, maneuvering around tight spaces and fallen debris, carrying people to safety, or lifting collapsed walls to clear passageways, your physical fitness will be tested. A firefighter who is not in optimal shape can risk serious, possibly career-ending injuries and even put others at risk.
Your training to become credentialed involves physical work, but it’s important to keep those exercising efforts up in the long-term. Here are some workouts to help you keep in a firefighting shape.
Run Sprints to Maintain General Fitness as a Firefighter
With a proper workout regimen including stretching and cool-down, running can be one of the best ways to keep your whole body in shape—and you need almost no equipment to do it! Running will help you retain core strength, strengthen leg muscles needed for lifting, and improve cardiovascular fitness. Firefighters cannot be winded when running in an emergency! Try exercises like hill repeats, short sprints, and adding weights to your ankles or a weighted backpack to mimic running with heavy fire gear.
Hit the Gym to Boost Arm and Leg Strength as a Firefighter
Your firehouse may have a weight room for your use, so be sure to inquire. Lifting weights in such exercises as deadlifts, squats, and leg presses help build and strengthen these muscles to prevent injury on the job. Heavy lifting should always be done from the legs, not the back, so be sure to pay attention to these areas in your exercise regime.
Mat Workouts Fill in the Gaps for Firefighter Workouts
Workouts you can do on the floor without any extra equipment shouldn’t be forgotten. Stretching helps keep muscles limber and healthy, so after an intense workout be sure to stretch for five to 10 minutes for optimal muscular health and longevity. If you can’t make it to the weight room, body-weight exercises like sit-ups and push-ups are a great substitute to keep your workouts fresh.