Being a police officer is no easy endeavor. In order to perform your duties at the highest level, you must not only possess the necessary law enforcement skills and training, but also stay in shape both mentally and physically.
When it comes to keeping your citizens safe, as well as yourself, maintaining and excelling in your fitness is invaluable. The daily stress of being a police officer can be enough to break you down so focusing on your overall well-being is paramount.
But with a long-hour, high-stress job as a police officer, how are you expected to find the time to work out and maintain your mental fitness? This is especially true for many of us who have family obligations at home.
The simple fact is, it’s not going to be easy. But it can and should be done, for both the people you’re supposed to protect and your family.
Maybe getting into better shape has been on your to-do list for a while, but you’re just not sure how to get started. Well, the good news is that it doesn’t take much to make that first step. In fact, even if it’s just ten minutes a day to begin, that is a significant improvement over nothing.
The only real way to stick to an exercise or training program is to make it part of your routine. So, if you have ten minutes in the morning where you usually just scroll your social media accounts, devote that time to moving your body instead. As you progress, you can add another five minutes to your routine and so on. If you utilize your time efficiently, you can accomplish and achieve great results in less time and with less actual effort than you probably think.
To achieve maximum results, here are our top police workout and fitness exercises for police officers.
Fitness Programs for Police Officers
Because your time is valuable, and is likely limited, time spent committed to police fitness should be dedicated to exercises that are all about functionality and your duties as law enforcement. Your goal here isn’t to get jacked and have the biggest physique or do enough cardio to run a marathon.
Instead, think in terms of what tasks you may be required to perform in the course of duty as a police officer. As you’re scrolling your social media, you’ll probably come across workout videos showing trainers doing all kinds of crazy-looking maneuvers, balancing on Bosu balls while one-legged squatting with weight strapped to their back.
There’s no need to get caught up in all that. You absolutely can’t go wrong with the basics. Exercises like the squat, deadlift, and bench press have and always will be go-to exercises that promote a combination of functionality, strength training, and cardio.
The exercises you choose to incorporate into your police officer fitness program should touch on flexibility, agility, and strength. A good fitness program incorporates compound exercises that work out a variety of muscle groups.
In other words, a simple bicep curl is a great exercise, but one that targets a specific muscle. A better use of your time and energy would be pullups or chin-ups. These not only work the biceps and triceps, but your entire upper body, including your shoulders, back muscles, and core.
If you’re maybe a little out of shape, how many push-ups do you think you can do? 5? 10? 20? Sounds and looks easy, right? You might be surprised when you get down and try to do one, especially using the correct form and posture. But this body-weight exercise has excellent overall benefits, working out your arms, shoulders, back, and core muscles. And one of the great things about push-ups is how many different variations you can do to make them both easier and more difficult. As your fitness improves, you can raise your feet off the ground to make the exercise more difficult.
If you spend much of your day behind a desk or in a squad car, chances are you would benefit from squatting. Ever get home to play with your kids, bend down to grab a toy, and notice how difficult it is to stand back up? Yep, it happens. Time to start doing squats.
With your feet roughly shoulder-width apart, keep your back relatively straight and bend your knees while simultaneously lowering your butt toward the ground. Once you get as low as you can go, use your feet to propel your knees and legs upward and stand up.
As with push-ups, there are many variations you can do when squatting. A simple body-weight squat is great for beginners. As you progress, add a kettlebell or dumbbell for more of a challenge. After a couple weeks of squatting, you should notice a significant improvement in your lower-body strength.
Planks are one of the best all-around body exercises. You don’t need any equipment, just a bit of space. Get into a push-up position, with feet slightly spread and hands and arms about shoulder-width apart. Go to the top of a push-up position and hold there for 30-60 seconds. You should feel your entire body working to stabilize and keep you still. Remember not to let your butt or back arch into the air.
Once you’ve become proficient in the plank, you can try an advanced version. From the plank position, slowly walk your hands forward, one at a time. This is called the “walk the plank.”
Clean and Press
If you don’t belong to a gym, there are a few pieces of workout equipment you should consider investing in. Among those are the kettlebell, a medicine ball, and a sandbag. Begin with the sandbag resting on the ground in front of you. With feet shoulder-width apart, squat and grab the sandbag. Then stand up explosively and rest the sandbag on your chest. After a quick pause, straighten your arms and press the sandbag over your head using your shoulders and arms.
Other fantastic exercises for police training include inverted rows, lunges, landmine presses, and bear-hug walks.
Remember that a great police workout is about functionality and exercises that will provide real-world benefits for your daily tasks and duties.
It doesn’t matter if you belong to a gym or work out at home; have ten minutes to work out or an hour; what matters is that you get started and incorporate a police officer fitness program into your routine so that you can continue to perform your duties safely. Not only will you be more physically capable of the job challenges that come your way, but you should also notice improvements in your mental focus as well.
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