Army Basic Training PT Exercises

When you join the Army, you have to go through basic training. One aspect of basic training is physical fitness, or physical training, often called PT by soldiers. Soldiers must do a variety of exercises every day to increase their strength, stamina and endurance. Army basic physical fitness training also serves to improve cardiovascular and lung fitness, according to Stew Smith, former soldier and now a military fitness trainer.

Basic training can be a challenge. (Image: Catherine Ledner/Taxi/Getty Images)

Pushups

Any Army recruit will tell you he spent a lot of time on his toes and hands performing pushups. Pushups are designed to improve and maximize shoulder and arm strength, abdominal toning and endurance. While the number of pushups you'll have to perform will be up to the discretion of your drill instructor, recruits may have to do dozens of pushups on a daily basis. To pass PT testing in basic training, a male recruit between 17 and 21 years of age will need to do at least 35 pushups, while a female recruit needs to do at least 13, according to Military.com. A male recruit between 22 and 26 years old will have to do at least 31, while a female recruit will need to do at least 11. To train for the pushup portion of your PT test, do 1 minute of pushups. Then, rest for 1 minute. Repeat for three or four sets, aiming to do as many pushups with proper form as you can.

Situps

Situps increase core strength, and work all muscles of the abdomen and the hip flexors. Male and female recruits between the ages of 17 and 21 years going through basic training may expect to perform at least 47 situps, while those between 22 and 26 years of age will be required to perform at least 43. Crunches are not considered proper situps in the Army. Practice the good old-fashioned situp, with someone holding your feet and touching your elbows to your knees on the way up. Your heels have to stay on the ground during every phase of the situp, states GoArmy.com. To improve your situp performance on the PT test, do as many situps as you can, using correct form, in 1 minute. Then, rest for 1 minute and repeat for three or four sets.

Running

Recruits going through basic training will run every day. PT is usually held early in the morning through all seasons and weather conditions. Running several miles every morning is a part of Army life and helps increase stamina and endurance. Male recruits between the ages of 17 and 21 will be expected to complete a two-mile run in 16:36 minutes, while those between 22 and 26 years of age must finish in about 17:30, according to Military.com. As you're training for the test, do some interval training. Increase your pace for 1/4 mile and recover at a slower pace for 1/4 mile. Repeat the intervals over a 2-mile distance.

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