When it comes to the most fit people on the planet, you will hard pressed to find anyone who beats a member of the Navy’s Sea, Air and Land Teams.
More commonly known as Navy SEALs, these special operations personnel have to be fit enough to handle small-unit military operations that typically begin and end in a body of water. They must also be ready to work in a variety of climates, from desert to jungle to frozen regions.
They are an elite group of people. Which means – if you are interested in physical fitness – you might want to pay attention to the exercises they do.
Because of the stress they put their bodies under, a Navy SEAL often will do daily exercises that help improve their durability and keep important muscle groups loose.
Here are some of the daily exercises that a Navy SEAL does that you can do as well, even if covert military operations are not in your future.
Navy SEALs Training: Modified Pigeon Stretch
Most people favor their right hip when standing, which can lead to problems with your left hip because it does not go through a full range of motion every day. This exercise helps you keep your hip muscles from tightening.
How it’s done: Kneel on all fours and place your left knee on a padded surface, shifting your left heel under your right hip. Pin your left leg in place by bringing up your right knee behind your left calf. Oscillate your hips side-to-side, forward and backward, taking time to push especially through your left hip.
One of the areas that can become tight and limit arm movement is your upper back. This exercise has one purpose: to help keep your upper back loose.
How it’s done: Hang from a pull up bar and place your heels on a bench in front of you so that your legs are straight and sit back so your back is perpendicular to the floor. Your legs will now be on a diagonal from your hips. Inhale deeply, then push all of the air out of your lungs. Repeat this four times.
Belly Lift Walk
This one also aims to loosen your upper back, as well as your ankles and legs.
How it’s done: Place your hands on a low step or box, placing your feet behind you in push-up position. Slowly walk your feet up, rounding your back with each step forward. Stop at the point where you can no longer keep your legs straight, then breath in and out, deeply and slowly, five times.
This one is designed to loosen your quads and hip flexors, two areas that can feel tight if you run or lift weights. This can restrict your range of motion.
How it’s done: Get on all fours with your feet against a wall. Slowly lift one foot back against the wall – the foot and your entire shin should be against the wall. Move the other foot forward, then lift your torso so it is in line with your back quad. In this position, try to move your elevated heel against your butt by contracting your hamstring for a couple of seconds. Do this 30 times for each leg.
And now for some motivation. While these exercises can keep your muscles loose and prevent injury and pain from workouts, there’s a lot more ground to cover in your actual workout to reach Navy SEAL standards.
Just to give you something to aim for – or at least come close to – here are the minimum standards for Navy SEALS in a few key areas, according to military.com:
- A 500-yard swim in under 9 minutes
- A 1.5 mile run in 9 minutes
- 100 pushups in 2 minutes’
- 100 sit ups in 2 minutes
Good luck! And remember that no matter what your daily workout regime is, the above exercises can help you stay loose and avoid injury.