Endurance and mobility are critical components of the United States Army’s Physical Readiness Training (PRT) program.
- These components help prepare soldiers for the rigorous physical demands during military operations, drills, and other activities.
- While strength training focuses on power and muscle mass, endurance and mobility training concentrate on cardiovascular fitness, stamina, and flexibility for extended activities and efficient movement across different terrains.
This article focuses on leadership and the specific exercises and drills designed to prepare soldiers for Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills (WTBDs).
Leadership in Endurance and Mobility
Effective leadership is paramount in utilizing the physical capabilities developed through PRT.
- Leaders should understand the physical demands of WTBDs and be capable of efficiently guiding their units through the required tasks.
- Link: Leadership
Endurance exercises aim to improve the cardiovascular system, enhancing the body’s ability to sustain prolonged physical activity.
- These exercises train the heart, lungs, and muscles to work efficiently over an extended period, increasing stamina and aerobic capacity.
Army PRT Endurance and Mobility Exercises
Running is a foundational skill influencing a soldier’s performance in various WTBDs. Covering short distances at high speed is crucial for advancing, retreating, or moving to cover.
Specific Running Drills
- Speed Running: Designed to increase sprinting capability.
- Hill Repeats (HR): Builds leg strength and aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
- Ability Group Run (AGR): Focuses on maintaining a consistent pace over an extended distance.
- Unit Formation Run (UFR): Promotes unit cohesion while building endurance.
- Release Run (RR): Combines paced and self-paced running.
- Terrain Run (TR): Develops endurance and agility by running on varying terrains.
- Speed Running
- Hill Repeats (HR)
- Ability Group Run (AGR)
- Unit Formation Run (UFR)
- Release Run (RR)
- Terrain Run (TR)
- Foot Marches (FM)
- Conditioning Obstacle Course (CDOC)
- Endurance Training Machines (ETM)
Types of endurance exercises to do at home
- Long-Distance Running: Builds cardiovascular endurance and leg strength.
- Interval Sprints: Enhances aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
- Swimming: Offers full-body endurance training without joint impact.
- Cycling: Builds leg endurance and cardiovascular fitness.
- Ruck Marches: Simulates the conditions of carrying equipment over long distances, building strength and endurance.
- Cross-Training: Incorporating different forms of endurance exercises to train various muscle groups and improve overall endurance.
- 2-Mile Run: Part of the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) to assess aerobic endurance.
- 300-Meter Sprint: Measures anaerobic endurance.
Mobility training aims to improve the range of motion in joints and muscles, increase flexibility, and improve the body’s ability to move efficiently and safely through various movements and terrains.
Military Movement Drill 1 (MMD 1)
- Exercise 1: Verticals: Builds leg strength and improves vertical leaping ability.
- Exercise 2: Laterals: Focuses on lateral movement and agility.
- Exercise 3: Shuttle Sprint: Enhances speed and quick directional changes.
Military Movement Drill 2 (MMD 2)
- Exercise 1: Power Skip: Develops explosive leg power and coordination.
- Exercise 2: Crossovers: Focuses on agility and lateral movement.
- Exercise 3: Crouch Run: Enhances speed while in a lowered stance, simulating moving under fire.
Types of Mobility Exercises
- Dynamic Stretching: Pre-activity stretches to prepare muscles and joints for action.
- Static Stretching: Post-activity stretches to improve flexibility.
- Plyometric Drills: Exercises like box jumps and skater jumps to improve explosive power and mobility.
- Agility Ladders: Improve footwork and agility.
- Obstacle Courses: Train the body to move efficiently through complex environments.
- Yoga: Enhances flexibility, balance, and overall mobility.
- Military Movement Drills: Consists of exercises like high jumps, crouch walks, and bounding movements to improve agility and coordination.
- 4-Corner Drill: Involves sprinting, sidestepping, and backpedaling to improve agility and responsiveness.
- Foot Marches (FM): Builds strength and endurance, simulating the conditions of carrying equipment over long distances.
- Conditioning Obstacle Course (CDOC): Designed to challenge and develop agility, coordination, and functional strength.
- Endurance Training Machines (ETM): Provide an alternative to traditional cardio, enabling soldiers to train regardless of weather conditions.
Combined Drills for Endurance and Mobility
- Functional Fitness Circuits: Combine elements of both endurance and mobility to create comprehensive training sessions.
- Multi-Directional Runs: Incorporate turns, stops, and starts to engage different muscle groups and improve endurance and mobility.
Endurance and mobility are vital aspects of Army PRT, each serving specific but interconnected roles in preparing soldiers for the physical challenges they may face.
- Building endurance allows for sustained performance, while mobility training ensures that soldiers can move easily and quickly, reducing the risk of injury.