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Home > Topics > Health and Wellness
February 09, 2012
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First in Fitness
by Bryan Fass

On-duty EMS fitness: Focusing on the legs

Training legs while on duty and in uniform is very effective, easy, quick and will reduce the chance of getting hurt

By Bryan Fass

Moving patients, lifting from the ground and stepping in/out of the truck are a routine part of the day for every medic. However, most of us lack the leg and hip strength needed to safely and effectively do the job.

You sit for long periods of time, you treat your patients hunched over, you chart contorted over a computer and then sit in the truck to get back to the base.

You sit and compress forward for almost your entire shift, and that causes your hips and legs to get weak. Often, you may experience poor endurance in your legs — duly noted as your quads burn huffing up 4 flights of stairs to get to the patient.

Training legs while on duty and in uniform is very effective, easy, quick and will reduce the chance of getting hurt. The stronger your legs and particularly hips are the less your back has to work, and that reduces injury.

Body weight is the only tool you need to get started; simply follow the exercises in the video two times per week, waiting at least two days between sessions.

Form and control are more important than speed, so pay close attention to body position and technique. As I noted in the video, "root" the feet at ALL times; this is arguably the most important part of training legs properly as it turns the hips on and improves balance.

To make this workout burn additional fat, add in the abdominal training exercises between leg exercises for a core and leg workout that will help you feel good, look good and stay injury free.

About the author

Bryan Fass is an expert on public safety injury prevention, patient and equipment handling ergonomics, fitness and wellness and a noted speaker and consultant. Bryan has authored four books including the Fit Responder. He works nationally with departments, corporations, state and local governments to design and run targeted injury prevention and wellness programs for public entities and private organizations. He is frequently contacted for expert opinion and content contribution for all aspects of public safety. Bryan holds a bachelor's degree in sports medicine, was a paramedic for more than eight years, and is certified as an Athletic Trainer & Strength Coach. He is the president and founder of the Fit Responder. Contact Bryan at bryan.fass@ems1.com.
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