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Intermediate Fitness Exercises for Prepper Survival (Part Two)

Welcome to part two of fitness exercises for SHTF wilderness and urban survival.  If the exercises in beginner level part one are too easy, or you have mastered them and are looking for an added challenge, these part two intermediate level exercises may be a good fit for you. intermediate-fitness-shtf-survival The the theme from the first post continues with gradually building functional and integrated strength throughout the body.  Our goal is to start slow and build a strong foundation of core strength while avoiding strength imbalances from overdeveloping certain muscle groups while ignoring others.  We are also looking to avoid movement repetition and impact, all in order to avoid injury.   Kettlebell squats:    As with nearly all kettlebell exercises, a major benefit of the kettlebell front squat is building core strength and stability.  By positioning a kettlebell high on your chest while doing a squat, your body is forced to maintain a position many of us no longer frequent in our daily lives, which in turn builds muscle stability.  On the contrary, barbell squat or body weight squats primarily focus on engaging the lower body rather than lower, core and upper body while integrating all three regions. If you are going to work with weights, kettlebells are the better alternative for functional strength because they integrate  and strengthen all muscle groups.  Integrative strength is important for survivalists and preppers because it will be the type of strength required during survival and emergency situations. front kettlebell squat Instructions:  Place feet a little wider than shoulder width, with your toes pointed out slightly.  Pick up the kettlebell by sitting down into a squat position and grabbing the bell by the "horns".  with your elbows in.  When you go down, breathe in through your nose and exhale on your way up.  To keep you back in proper alignment, look up slightly when you do the squat.   When you reach the bottom of the squat make sure you don't bounce, and keep your knees behind your toes while digging both feet forcefully into the ground.  Create tension and snap your hips when you reach to top.
  • Pick a suitable kettle bell weight that will allow you to complete two sets of 10 reps. At the end of the 10 reps, you should be about 60-70% to failure.
  • As you progress, increase weight in 5 lb increments and complete the same set and rep quantities.
    Pull ups and Chin ups:  The two most common grips are the underhand and the overhand grips.  The easiest grip to start with is the underhand grip, or (the chin-up) because due to the elbow position, it optimizes the most efficient use of  bicep and peck activation which in turn develops more strength in your pull up.   A pull-up, by contrast, using the overhand grip, primarily activates the lower trapezius more than a chin-up, but both are great exercises to strengthen the back. pull up chin up for survival fitness Instructions: A shoulder width grip using either the underhand or overhand grips is recommended because it reduces the strain on your shoulders and lowers risk of injury, and there is not a big difference in muscle activation between the two. It's also recommended to hold your back, pelvis, and legs in as straight and aligned as possible (rather than arching your lower back, bending your legs, and thrusting your pelvis forward).  Try to images having a rigid metal rod running through the entire vertical length of your body, from the top of your head to your feet.  While this position is more difficult, it offers the advantage of building strength in the anterior muscle chain and core.
  • If you are unable to do a full unassisted pull-up, do three sets of five reps of either body rows, or resistance-band assisted pull-ups. Adjust the difficulty as you progress by changing the angle of the body rows, or using a weaker resistance band.
  • If you can complete one to four or more unassisted pull-ups, do your max reps, followed by the same rep quantity of negative pull-ups. Rest, then repeat this process two more times for a total of three sets (again, three to failure, each followed by equal negative reps).
  Soft, Varied Terrain Interval Running Interval training is a higher intensity level of running where you sprint at medium to maximum pace while walking or slow jogging in between, for a total of around 20 minutes.  Research has shown that interval running  will speed up metabolism much faster than regular running. Furthermore, due to the rapid and successive twisting motion of your torso with your elbow pulling one way and your knee pushing the other, interval running is excellent for the core while also activating  fast twitch muscle fibers. As mentioned in the beginner fitness article, running on soft, slightly varied terrain is great for adapting the body to diverse movements in order to rehabilitate and condition all muscle groups, big and small while building strength throughout your physiology. interval training varied terrain Instructions:  We recommend looking for trails with softer surfaces such as dirt, grass, or loose gravel rather than concrete that has someeasy 10-20 degree inclines and declines for added variance.  Do a light jogging warm-up and stretching routine to reduce risk of injury.
  • Start by running at a medium pace, then after roughly two minutes transition to about 30 seconds of 70% of your max speed.
  • Complete three more cycles, but each time increase the max speed by 10%, so by the fourth cycle you are maxing out at 100%
  • As you progress and notice your endurance and power increasing from your initial interval workouts, introduce running up inclines for your last one to two cycles in the workout.
  Burpees: Knowing how to do burbees is an powerful skill in fitness because they offer full body workout you can take with you anywhere you go!  All you need is your body and the knowledge of how to do them which you will see here.  You can use burpees as a warm up exercise, or a core exercise in your workout.  They are amazing for conditioning and building functional, integrated strength that starts with the core. burpee-exercise-steps Instructions:  Start in squat position with the weight in the heels and remaining flexible in the toes.  Then do a squat thrust while kicking the legs back so you are in a push up plank position.  From this position to a pushup and transition immediately into a frog jump and then a jump squat to complete the burpee movement. Throughout the process of these movements, it's important for your limbs to absorb any contact with the floor like a shock absorber rather than being rigid and stiff.  This will reduce harmful impact on your body and activate your muscle groups more effectively.
  • Start slow and warm up with 10 slow burpees, mainly focusing on correct form without the squat jump.
  • As your form improves and you get warmed up, increase the speed and add up to three sets of ten reps each.
 

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