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

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 a leading expert on public safety injury prevention. As the president and founder of Fit Responder, Bryan’s company works nationally with departments, corporations, and state and local governments to design and run targeted injury prevention and wellness programs. He is frequently contacted for expert opinion and content contribution for all aspects of public safety fitness, ergonomics and wellness. He authored the Fit Responder book used by departments and schools, and writes for numerous web and peer-reviewed journals.

Bryan holds a bachelors’ degree in sports medicine with more than 17 years of clinical practice, was a paramedic for more than 8 years, and is certified as an Athletic Trainer (ATC, LAT), Strength Coach (CSCS) and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Fit Responder developed the nation’s first validated pre-hire Physical Abilities Test for EMS. Bryan is a sought-after speaker on a variety of topics including risk reduction, employee self-care, real world wellness and How to Eat on the street. Fit Responder also offers a mobile app and program for Fire-Rescue fitness. Contact Bryan at bryan.fass@ems1.com.

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  2. Health and Wellness

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