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Importance of Physical Readiness Training

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    Physical Readiness Training is a very important part of maintaining our bodies to ensure that we are prepared when our nation calls. Unfortunately, more often than we would like, soldiers get injured, and are unable to train at the normal standards. There are exercises and plans in place specifically for these times, and are a key role in the recover of injured soldiers.

    In FM 7-22, Chapter 6, Section 6-5, pg 90, it states ” significant losses in strength, endurance, and mobility occur after 14 days when little or no PRT is conducted. That fact applies to everyone including injured soldiers, making PRT more important than it seems at the surface.It is also very important to do injury specific exercises to prevent worsening any problem. There are two different levels for reconditioning for soldiers who are on a physical profile.

    Level one reconditioning is gym based and allows soldiers to maximize their workout with out effecting injured areas. Level two reconditioning is for soldiers who are on profile and for soldiers just coming off of physical profiles, and currently in the recovery period.In FM 7-22, Chapter 6, Table 6-1, pg 97, the reconditioning training schedule shown includes the preparation drill, hip stability drill, and for the core along with the recovery drill. The treadmill, stair stepper, elliptical, recumbent cycle, upright cycle, and arm ergometer are machines that can be extremely beneficial to soldiers on profile.

    They allow soldiers to target specific muscle groups and endurance training while avoiding injured areas. Exercises should be done for 20-30 minutes depending on intensity of the exercise. To burn fat the exercises should be performed at a low intensity for 60 minutes.For the core can be completed while on profile and targets you core muscles.

    Exercises one and three are the bent leg raise and the back bridge. Exercises two and four are the side bridge and quaudraplex. If unable to hold the exercise he or she should momentarily change position and return to the prescribed exercise position. Soldiers who are on profile for upper body injuries should focus on lower body exercises.

    They can do the leg press and modified leg press, single leg curls and modified leg curls. The exercises can be done in a seated, prone, or supine position.Heel raises can be done to strengthen the muscles in the back of the lower legs. For lower body injuries the chest press is a good exercise, developing strength in the arms, shoulders, and chest.

    There is also a modified chest press that is performed the same as the normal chest press but with less range of motion. This exercise should be used to build strength until normal range of motion can be reached. The seated row is an exercise that can be done to strengthen the arm and back muscles. The modified version can be done with straight arms and much less range of motion.

    The resistance can be changed to accommodate the injured side. Modified exercise 5B is the single arm, single row and is performed like the seated row but one arm at a time. The modified over arm press is performed like the over arm press but with less resistance and decreased range of motion. It can also be performed one arm at a time for the single arm press.

    The lateral pull down strengthen muscles in the arm and back. The modified exercise is done with a straight arm or a single arm to reduce resistance and range of motion.As the condition improves the resistance and range of motion should be increased with it. The lateral arm raise is used to increases shoulder and neck muscles.

    The modified version is done with a single arm to decrease resistance to be appropriate for injured side. Range of motion can be decreased as well. Tricep extensions are used to strengthen the triceps and the modifies version should be performed the same but without the elbows fully extended. This exercise can be done single arm as well to avoid too much stress on injured side.

    Bicep curls can be modified to increase the strength in biceps while controlling resistance and range of motion on injured side. The trunk flexion is used to strengthen the abdominal muscle and can be done with soldiers on profiles for lower body (discluding hip injuries. ) The modified version should be done with a lower range of motion and the weight should be low and the movements should be within the comfort zone of the soldier. The trunk extension should be done to strengthen the lower back and follows the same weight and range of motion modifications as the trunk flexion.

    FM 7-22, Chapter 6, Table 6-4, pg 157, shows the walk to run progression. During week one soldiers should walk four minutes and jog two minutes repeating it five times for a total of 30 minutes. Week two the should walk three minutes followed by jogging for three minutes repeating it five times for a total of 30 minutes. Week three soldiers should walk two minutes and jog four minutes repeating it five times for a total of 30 minutes.

    Week four soldiers should walk one minutes followed by jogging 4 minutes repeating it five times for a total of 30 minutes.Week five soldiers should be running every other day with a goal of reaching 30 minutes. For knee injuries the post profile progression includes the preparation drill, conditioning drill, military movement drill, push-up and sit-up drill, climbing drill, sustained and speed running, and the recovery drill. The preparation drill should use decreased range of motion and fewer repetitions.

    The conditioning drill should be done with majority of the body weight bearing on the arms. Military movement drill should be reduced from 25 to 15 yards to reduce intensity of movements.Normal tempos should not be maintained. Push-ups should be allowed to be done in a six point position and while doing sit-ups shoulders can use hands to move in and out of supine position.

    Soldiers should be assisted through the climbing drill. With the recovery drill soldiers may use hands as needed. There are modified versions of nearly every exercise to ensure injuries do not progress but soldiers are still able to do PRT to be ready for our nations call. A combined effort between soldiers and leaders results in standards being met to the fullest and our unit ultimately staying Trained and Ready.

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