- Exercise & Fitness
How To Get Fit The Army Way: Rotations
Get Fit the Army Way-Rotations
Exercising is of the utmost importance for leading a healthy life. How often you should exercise is mainly dependant on what your goals are. For those just looking to maintain your physique I recommend no less than three days a week. If you are looking to lose weight and get into shape I recommend five to six days a week.
Figuring out a work-out schedule
When you set out to figure out what your work-out schedule will be, take into consideration what your goal is. To lose weight you’ll want to focus more on cardio vascular exercise. To tone up and to build strength you’ll want to focus more on muscular strength and endurance.
Starting your exercise session
Before you start any exercise session you need to stretch. Stretching will give your muscles a chance to warm-up and get ready for exertion. You should devote ten minutes to properly stretch out, focusing on the muscle groups you will be working. In the Army we start out every daily exercise session with a one to two minute jog in place. The jog in place is a great way to activate your cardio system and every muscle in your body.
Rotations gives a chance for joints to get in on the action, it loosens the ligaments in the joints in a positive way. When you loosen these ligaments in the joints you greatly reduce the chance for injury. There are a total of four rotations that need to be done; they are the neck rotation, the arms and shoulders rotation, the hips rotation, and the knees and ankles rotation.
The Neck Rotation
The start position for the neck rotation is feet shoulder width apart, and hands on the hips. I recommend closing your eyes while doing this rotation. Rotate your head from chin on chest all the way around in a clockwise rotation back to chin on chest. One rotation is when you come back to the start, rotate in this direction five times, then reverse direction for another five rotations.
The Neck Rotation 1Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Arms and Shoulders Rotation
The arms and shoulders rotation starts out with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms extended out to your sides. Start the rotation by rotating your arms forward in large circles. You want to be reaching in each rotation so you also rotate your shoulders. Once you complete five rotations in the forward direction you need to reverse the direction of rotation and rotate for five more rotations.
The Arms and Shoulders RotationClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Hips Rotation
The start position for the hips rotation is the same as the above rotations except your hands are on your hips. Rotate your hips in a clockwise rotation as far as you can go. You should maintain your balance in this rotation but rotate far enough to include your lower back. Once more rotate five times counter-clockwise and five times clockwise.
The Hips RotationClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Knees and Ankles Rotation
With the knees and ankles rotation your feet will be together and your hands will be right above your knees. Rotate your knees and ankles as if you were drawing circles with your knees. Rotate them five times counter-clockwise and five times clockwise. An alternative to rotating your knees is to flex them by leaning forward until there is slight pressure on your ankles. If you do the alternate rotation you need to do it ten times.
The Knees and Ankles RotationClick thumbnail to view full-size
The stretches that you do depend on what you are working for the day. Cardio and muscular work-outs require different stretches to properly prepare for the exertions.
To learn which stretches to do for each type of exercise click here.
To learn what exercises to do for muscular strength and endurance click here.
For cardio vascular exercises click here.
Concluding the Exercise Session
The end of the exercise session is just as important as the beginning and the actual exercise. When you are finished exercising you need to take roughly ten minutes to cool down. Once more, when cooling down you need to stretch all of the muscles you exercised. A good rule of thumb to go by is—if you stretched it before you worked out—you need to stretch it when you are finished working out.
Reference: Army FM 21-20
Copyright 2009 by Wesley Cox
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