When you’re getting ready to join any branch of the military, boot camp is something you’ve got to prepare for— both mentally and physically.
While the mental preparation is a bit more of a personal solution, getting your body ready for the stress and challenges of boot camp will require a lot of exercise, with a heavy emphasis on core and stamina training.
The physical side of boot camp is designed to push you for a long period of time, requiring your heart rate to stay high, often times more than an hour.
Your physical training should include a high amount of running and explosive strength training to get your body used to expanding a large amount of energy over an elongated period of time.
This training can come in several different forms, but it doesn’t always have to involve a treadmill and free weights. In fact, you can even utilize yoga to prepare for something as intensive as boot camp.
Here are a few yoga routines that would be perfect to prepare you for the cardio and strength required for basic military training:
1. Low lunge with upward stretch and right then left leg forward — This is a great move for stretching out your core and strengthening your lower body. The lunge aspect of the pose will strengthen both of your legs, so you’ll want to make sure to do the pose with both your left and right leg.
Start out in a lunging position with the right leg, and then stretch both your hands up to the ceiling. Hold for as long as you can, then switch to the other leg.
Make sure to keep your core muscles as tight as you can, and don’t lunge so hard that your knee moves in front of your ankle. Try and keep the line from your ankle to your knee completely straight.
2. Sitting left and right twist — This is as much of a stretch as anything else. In the sitting position, take your right leg and place it on the opposite side of your left leg while using your arm to hold the leg in place.
Hold the pose for about 10-15 seconds, and then switch to your left leg. Don’t press the stretch to the point where you’re in pain— just enough so that your muscles feel a reasonable amount of strain.
3. Supported Shoulderstand — The supported shoulderstand sounds more difficult than it really is, so don’t be overly intimidated. With your back on the floor, use your shoulders to brace yourself, and raise your legs and feet and point your toes to the ceiling.
The move will put pressure on your neck, as the higher part of your back (between your shoulder blades) will also act as support.
4. Easy Boat Pose — For this pose, lie on the ground and bend your knees. Then, with your arms outstretched in front of you, bring your body forward like you’re doing a sit-up. Once you get your hands past your knees, hold the pose.
This will put a lot of tension on your abs and will build strength throughout your abdominal area. To make the exercise a little more dynamic, you can move up and down in between holding the pose.
5. Plank Pose — The plank pose is a fairly common abdominal exercise, but with good reason. The plank does a great job of strengthening your core and builds stamina, which will be much needed in a boot camp situation.
Try and hold the plank position for as long as you can. One to two minutes isn’t unheard of.
Building Core Strength and Stamina
For boot camp, any exercises that help you build core strength and stamina should be considered. For the yoga enthusiast, you’re in luck, because many yoga poses are focused on these two elements.
Because you will likely be putting your body through a lot of pain and exercise during your training for the Marine Corps, make sure you are taking the essential vitamins your body will need in order to keep pushing yourself to the limit. The last thing you want is for your body to shut down due to exhaustion.
Try what we’ve listed here, then do a little research and try some beginner yoga poses of your own choosing. If you need a break from all the running and lifting, yoga is definitely an acceptable and helpful change of pace.
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer from the Los Angeles area whose writing covers a range of topics, including personal fitness, healthy cooking, gaming technology and business marketing. She loves practicing yoga every morning to strengthen her core and muscles.