As firefighters also known as functional athletes, we engage in most of or all of our muscle groups on any given call or training scenario and there's one muscle group that is involved in all we do. That muscle group is our core. Our core muscles engage any time we lift, twist, stand, sit, pull and put on our boots. Think about it - every time we don our PPE, get on and off the apparatus, pull a hose line, force a door, search a room we are engaging our core muscles in order to perform these common tasks of a firefighter. Even the job of an IC involves the use of our core muscles shockingly enough. This group is the foundation to a strong and healthy body that determines how we function on and off the fire ground and throughout our day. Want to optimize your firefighter activities? Then it's time for a Gut Check.
The core, for argument sake can be divided into 2 major types (yet consist of 29 different muscles): the stabilizers and the movers.
Pelvic floor muscles
The core muscles do many things for us as firefighters and here are the main ones:
1. Keeps our posture in check
2. Maintains stability and balance
3. Supports our back
Core strength exercises
1. Ball crunches
2. Rope crunches
3. Leg raises
2. Prone back extensions
3. Side planks
4. Russian twists
If you’re looking for improved posture and to increase your core strength, take these exercises along with others (link below) to optimize your value and become a highly optimized strong firefighter.
For more core exercises check out American Council of Exercise Fitness Library.
Until next time; work hard, stay safe & live inspired.
About the Author
NICHOLAS J. HIGGINS is a firefighter with 17 years in the fire service in Piscataway, NJ, a NJ State certified level 2 fire instructor, a State of New Jersey Advocate for the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation and is the founder/contributor of the Firehouse Tribune website. A martial arts practitioner and former collegiate athlete in baseball, Nick is also a National Exercise & Sports Trainer Association Battle Ropes Instructor, Functional Fitness Instructor and Nutrition Coach. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Kean University, and a A.A.S in Liberal Arts - Business from Middlesex County College. Nick has spoken at the 2017 & 2018 Firehouse Expo in Nashville, TN as well as at numerous fire departments within NJ and fire service podcasts.