These moves are difficult, but important for your performance as a runner.
In October 2020, the U.S. Army will roll out a new assessment, the Army Combat Fitness Test, to better prepare soldiers for combat and reduce the risk of injury. This new test, which is strenuous but gender- and age-neutral, includes six exercises that all soldiers must be able to perform, but according to the Army Times, two stand out as the most difficult: the Hanging Leg Tuck and the Overhead Throw.
These exercises require core strength—which is important for your performance as a runner—and grip strength, which can tell you a lot about your overall general health.
It’s important to include stabilizing, deep core exercises into your cross-training routine, according to Amy Schultz, P.T., D.P.T., C.S.C.S., a physical therapist at Evolution Physical Therapy. She also adds that athletes like runners need to do something besides running since the repetitive motion can lead to injury.
Think of your core like a solid foundation. “You wouldn’t build a house on top of something that wasn’t solid, so it’s hard to be explosive without a strong base,”Schultz adds.
As for grip strength, studies have shown that it can be an indicator for how long you’ll live.
We’re not exactly suggesting you head to the nearest gym and bust out these exercises that even Army soldiers struggle with (if you feel like you can, then by all means, go for it), but there are ways to safely build up the strength to perform them correctly, which will build your fitness in the process.
[The best runners don’t just run, they hit the gym. The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training will teach you all the fundamentals to get the most out of your weight session.]
Here’s how to properly do each exercise—and Schultz’s alternate recommendations for them.
1. Hanging Leg Tuck
According to the Army Times, “a soldier hangs from a bar with an alternating grip and brings legs to chest.”