FitnessU.S. Army PRT ExercisesPosted:

Axios
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U.S. Army PRT Exercises
(Physical Readiness Training)

This thread has been created to informatively, and extensively explain the United States Army's Physical Readiness Training exercises. Intended to help those transitioning from civilian to soldier better understand their physical expectations whilst conducting Physical Readiness Training.
This thread is based on the information outlined in U.S. Army Field Manual 7-22.





Preparation Drill

PRT sessions always include the following elements: preparation, activity, and recovery. Exercises performed during preparation ready Soldiers for more intense PRT activities.




  • Exercise 1: Bend and Reach

    Purpose: This exercise develops the ability to squat and reach through the legs. It also serves to prepare the spine and extremities for more vigorous movements, moving the hips and spine through full flexion.

    Starting Position: Straddle stance with arms overhead, palms facing inward, fingers and thumbs extended and joined.

    Cadence: SLOW


    • Squat with the heels flat as the spine rounds forward to allow the straight arms to reach as far as
    • possible between the legs.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Repeat count one.
    • Return to the starting position.

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    Precautions: This exercise is always performed at a slow cadence. To protect the back, move into the count one position in a slow, controlled manner. Do not bounce into or out of this position in a ballistic manner, as this may place an excessive load on the back

  • Exercise 2: Rear Lunge

    Purpose: This exercise promotes balance, opens up the hip and trunk on the side of the lunge, and develops leg strength.

    Starting Position: Straddle stance with hands on hips.

    Cadence: SLOW

    • Take an exaggerated step backward with the left leg, touching down with the ball of the foot.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Repeat count one with the right leg.
    • Return to the starting position.

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    Precautions: This exercise is always performed at a slow cadence. On counts 1 and 3, move into position in a slow, controlled manner. If the cadence is too fast, it will be difficult to go through a full range of motion.

  • Exercise 3: High Jumper

    Purpose: This exercise reinforces correct jumping and landing, stimulates balance and coordination, and develops explosive strength.

    Starting Position: Forward leaning stance, palms facing inward, fingers and thumbs extended and joined.

    Cadence: MODERATE

    • Swing arms forward and jump a few inches.
    • Swing arms backward and jump a few inches.
    • Swing arms forward and vigorously overhead while jumping forcefully.
    • Repeat count 2. On the last repetition, return to the starting position.

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  • Exercise 4: Rower

    Purpose: This exercise improves the ability to move in and out of the supine position to a seated posture. It coordinates the action of the trunk and extremities while challenging the abdominal muscles.

    Starting Position: Supine position, arms overhead, feet together and pointing upward. The chin is tucked and the head is 1-2 inches above the ground. Arms are shoulder-width, palms facing inward with fingers and thumbs extended and joined.

    Cadence: SLOW

    • Sit up while swinging arms forward and bending at the hip and knees. At the end of the motion, the arms will be parallel to the ground with palms facing inward.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Repeat count 1.
    • Return to the starting position.

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    Precautions: This exercise is always performed at a slow cadence. Do not arch the back to assume counts 1 and 3.

  • Exercise 5: Squat Bender

    Purpose: This exercise develops strength, endurance, and flexibility of the lower back and lower extremities.

    Starting Position: Straddle stance with hands on hips.

    Cadence: SLOW

    • Squat while leaning slightly forward at the waist with the head up and extend the arms to the front, with arms parallel to the ground and palms facing inward.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Bend forward and reach toward the ground with both arms extended and palms inward.
    • Return to the starting position.

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    Precaution: This exercise is always performed at a slow cadence. Allowing the knees to go beyond the toes on count 1 increases stress to the knees.

  • Exercise 6: Windmill

    Purpose: This exercise develops the ability to safely bend and rotate the trunk. It conditions the muscles of the trunk, legs, and shoulders.

    Starting Position: Straddle stance with arms sideward, palms facing down, fingers and thumbs extended and joined.

    Cadence: SLOW

    • Bend the hips and knees while rotating to the left. Reach down and touch the outside of the left foot with the right hand and look toward the rear. The left arm is pulled rearward to maintain a straight line with the right arm.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Repeat count 1 to the right.
    • Return to the starting position.

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    Precaution: This exercise is always performed at a slow cadence.

  • Exercise 7: Forward Lunge

    Purpose: This exercise promotes balance and develops leg strength.

    Starting Position: Straddle stance with hands on hips.

    Cadence: SLOW

    • Take a step forward with the left leg (the left heel should be 3 to 6 inches forward of the right foot). Lunge forward, lowering the body and allow the left knee to bend until the thigh is parallel to the ground. Lean slightly forward, keeping the back straight.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Repeat count one with the right leg.
    • Return to the starting position.

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    Precautions: This exercise is always performed at a slow cadence. On counts 1 and 3, move into position in a controlled manner. Spring off of the forward leg to return to the starting position. This avoids jerking the trunk to create momentum.

  • Exercise 8: Prone Row

    Purpose: This exercise develops strength of the back and shoulders.

    Starting Position: Prone position with the arms overhead, palms down, fingers and thumbs extended and joined, 1 to 2 inches off the ground and toes pointed to the rear.

    Cadence: SLOW

    • Raise the head and chest slightly while lifting the arms and pulling them rearward. Hands make fists as they move toward the shoulders.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Repeat count 1.
    • Return to the starting position.

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    Precautions: This exercise is always performed at a slow cadence. Prevent overarching of the back by maintaining contractions of the abdominal and buttocks muscles throughout the exercise.

  • Exercise 9: Bent-Leg Body Twist

    Purpose: This exercise strengthens trunk muscles and promotes control of trunk rotation.

    Starting Position: Supine position with the hips and knees bent to 90-degrees, arms sideward and palms down. The knees and feet are together.

    Cadence: SLOW

    • Rotate the legs to the left while keeping the upper back and arms in place.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Repeat count 1 to the right.
    • Return to the starting position.

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    Precautions: This exercise is always performed at a slow cadence. Do not rotate the legs to a point beyond which the opposite arm and shoulder can no longer maintain contact with the ground.

  • Exercise 10: Push-Up

    Purpose: This exercise strengthens the muscles of the chest, shoulders, arms, and trunk.

    Starting Position: Front leaning rest position.

    Cadence: MODERATE

    • Bend the elbows, lowering the body until the upper arms are parallel with the ground.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Repeat count 1.
    • Return to the starting position.

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Recovery Drill
Recovery exercises are performed at the end of every PRT session to gradually and safely bring the body back to its pre-exercise state.



  • Exercise 1: Overhead Arm Pull

    Purpose: This exercise develops flexibility of the arms, shoulders, and trunk muscles.

    Starting Position: Straddle stance with hands on hips.

    Position 1: On the command, Ready, STRETCH, raise the left arm overhead and place the left hand behind the head. Grasp above the left elbow with the right hand and pull to the right, leaning the body to the right. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.

    Starting Position: On the command, "Starting Position, MOVE," assume the starting position.

    Position 2: On the command, Change Position, Ready, STRETCH, raise the right arm overhead and place the right hand behind the head. Grasp above the right elbow with the left hand and pull to the left, leaning the body to the left. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. On the command, Starting Position, MOVE, return to the starting position.

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  • Exercise 2: Rear Lunge

    Purpose: This exercise develops mobility of the hip flexors and trunk muscles.

    Starting Position: Straddle stance, hands on hips.

    Position 1: On the command, Ready, STRETCH, take an exaggerated step backward with the left leg, touching down with the ball of the foot. This is the same position as count 1 of the rear lunge in CD 1. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.

    Starting Position: On the command, "Starting Position, MOVE," assume the starting position.

    Position 2: On the command, Change Position, Ready, STRETCH, take an exaggerated step backward with the right leg, touching down with the ball of the foot. This is the same position as count 3 of the rear lunge in CD 1. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. On the command, Starting Position, MOVE, return to the starting position.

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    Precautions: When lunging to the left or right, do not let the knee move forward of the toes.

  • Exercise 3: Extend and Flex

    Purpose: This exercise develops mobility of the hip flexors, abdominals, hip and the low back, hamstrings, and calves.

    Starting Position: The front leaning rest position.

    Position 1: On the command, Ready, STRETCH, lower the body, sagging in the middle, keeping the arms straight and looking upward. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.

    Starting Position: On the command, "Starting Position, MOVE," assume the starting position.

    Position 2: On the command, Change Position, READY, STRETCH, slightly bend the knees and raise the hips upward. Straighten the legs and attempt to touch the ground with the heels. Move the head in line with the arms, forming an A with the body. Keep the feet together and hold this position for 20-30 seconds. On the command, Starting Position, MOVE, return to the starting position.

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  • Exercise 4: Thigh Stretch

    Purpose: This exercise develops flexibility of the front of the thigh and the hip flexor muscles.

    Starting Position: Seated position, arms at sides and palms on the ground.

    Position 1: On the command, Ready, STRETCH, roll onto the right side and place the right forearm on the ground, perpendicular to the chest. With the right hand, make a fist on the ground with the thumb side up. Grasp the left ankle with the left hand and pull the left heel toward the buttocks and pull the entire leg rearward. Push the left thigh further to the rear with the heel of the right foot. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.

    Starting Position: On the command, "Starting Position, MOVE," assume the starting position.

    Position 2: On the command, Change Position, Ready, STRETCH, lay on the left side and place the left forearm on the ground, perpendicular to the chest. The left hand makes a fist on the ground with the thumb side up. Grasp the right ankle with the right hand and pull the right heel toward the buttocks and pull the entire leg rearward. Push the right thigh further to the rear with the heel of the left foot. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. On the command, Starting Position, MOVE, return to the starting position.

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  • Exercise 5: Single-Leg Over

    Purpose: This exercise develops flexibility of the hips and lower back muscles.

    Starting Position: Supine position with arms sideward, palms down, feet together, and head on the ground.

    Position 1: On the command, Ready, STRETCH, turn the body to the right, bend the left knee to 90 degrees over the right leg, grasp the outside of the left knee with the right hand and pull toward the right. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.

    Starting Position: On the command, "Starting Position, MOVE," assume the starting position.

    Position 2: On the command, Change Position, Ready, STRETCH, turn the body to the left, bend the right knee to 90 degrees over the left leg, grasp the outside of the right knee with the left hand, and pull toward the left. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. On the command, Starting Position, MOVE, return to the starting position.

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Additional Resources:


SCP (Special Conditioning Program): [ Register or Signin to view external links. ]
AR 350-1 states special conditioning programs are appropriate for Soldiers who have difficulty meeting unit goals or Army standards. These programs are not punitive; their purpose is to improve the physical readiness of Soldiers. Special conditioning programs designed to accommodate these needs will be conducted during normal duty hours. Special conditioning programs include:

  • APFT or unit PRT goal failure.
  • Soldiers on the AWCP.
  • Reconditioning.


Strength and Mobility Exercises: [ Register or Signin to view external links. ]
This chapter describes strength and mobility exercises, drills, and activities designed for Soldiers in the toughening and sustaining phases of PRT. The purpose of strength and mobility activities is to improve functional strength, postural alignment, and body mechanics as they relate to the performance of WTBDs.


Endurance and Mobility Activities: [ Register or Signin to view external links. ]
Warrior tasks and battle drills require the ability to move quickly on foot. Running short distances at high speed is essential to moving under direct and indirect fire.


APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test): [ Register or Signin to view external links. ]
The intent of the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) is to provide an assessment of the PRT program. Physical fitness testing is designed to ensure the maintenance of a base level of physical fitness essential for every Soldier, regardless of Army MOS or duty assignment. PRT programs must be developed to take this base level of conditioning and raise it to help meet or exceed mission-related physical performance tasks. Commanders must ensure that physical fitness testing does not form the foundation of unit or individual PRT programs. Temporary training periods solely devoted toward meeting APFT requirements are highly discouraged. See AR 350-1 for policy guidelines pertaining to the APFT.

The Following 1 User Say's Thank You to Axios For This Useful Post:

Musket (09-20-2017)
#2. Posted:
Blizzard
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Great topic an useful information thanks
#3. Posted:
ZZ9_x_iHaXoRZz
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Not bad topic a lot of hard work and great detail as been put into this, but i think i stick to my exercise routine, long relaxing hot bath with some lovely candles and my best friend palm. She always kept me in great shape.
#4. Posted:
Ryuk
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Brilliant topic man, very insightful and packed with information. I myself stick to my strict regime but I can see how this is ideal for anyone wanting a career path in the armed forces. Not many people will discuss Recover Exercises as not a lot of people do them, but more people should.
#5. Posted:
Axios
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Bumping this, lots of useful information for those interested in enlisting. The site provided also has a lot of useful information for those in leadership roles, including things to look for to ensure soldiers are conducting said excercises in a safe and effective way.
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