Life in the Marines is physically demanding and Marines need to be fit, strong and tough to carry out their challenging duties. Much of a Marine's training takes place outdoors and without the benefit of sophisticated exercise equipment or well-equipped gyms. Subsequently a Marine can expect to do a lot of low tech but high effect exercises as part of his regular PT.
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Upper Body Exercises
Upper body strength can help with tasks like lifting heavy ammo boxes, pulling Humvees out of ditches and dragging injured comrades to safety. To develop their upper body muscles, Marines do plenty of pullups and pushups. Other upper body exercises performed by Marines include overhead presses with rocks, ammo boxes and logs and a variety of pushups including diamond or narrow grip, incline and handstand.
Lower Body Exercises
Strong legs will make tasks such as marching while carrying heavy equipment, known as ruck marches, or climbing obstacles in an urban environment somewhat easier. Leg strength can be developed with squats, lunges and step-ups -- all simple but effective exercises in Marine PT. Heavy ruck marches, where packs can weigh 100 pounds or more, will also develop leg strength.
Strong core muscles can help prevent back injuries as these muscles, the collective term for the waist, lower back and abs, help support your lumbar spine. Common marine core exercises include situps, crunches, leg lifts, flutter kicks and hanging knee raises.
Marines need to be cardiovascularly fit as well as strong. A Marine may have to walk, run or sprint as part of his working day and a lack of cardiovascular fitness could have serious consequences. Ruck marches, individual and squad runs, obstacle courses and plenty of burpees will ensure that the Marines are fit enough to face most physically demanding situations.