INTRO BY NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE'S DIRECTOR OF FITNESS

These videos illustrate a variety of exercises but are not intended to be a complete list. For more information about other exercises, as well as technique and training variables (sets, reps, etc.), consult the Physical Training Guide as well as “Strength Training: Start Here” on the SEALSWCC.com Training Forum.

AGILITY SPRINTS

  • Lower – Lateral Hip/Ankle

Set up a course using cones or other markers. Perform about half a dozen maximal effort sprints that involve Change of Direction. Each sprint should last for about 6-10 seconds. Create routes that require cutting at 45 or 90 angles to right or left, lateral shuffling, or backpedaling. Over time, be creative; use lots of variability with the basic patterns.

ARM HAULER

  • Primary: Upper – Posterior Shoulder/Traps; Secondary: Trunk – Extension

Lift chest and legs off ground. Move arms back and forth from directly at sides to straight out in front of torso. Sweep arms parallel to ground without touching to keep tension on posterior shoulders.

BENT OVER ROW (ONE ARM)

  • Upper – Row Pull

Use bench for support. Keep torso in horizontal plane. Move the weight from the ground to the armpit in a smooth motion and pause briefly before lowering the weight. Use a kettle bell, dumbbell, or any weight that can be held in one hand.

BENT OVER ROW (TWO ARMS)

  • Upper – Row Pull

Move two weights simultaneously (or use a single barbell/straight bar). Note: keep the trunk stable in the horizontal position; do not use the lower back to lift the weight. Only lift as much weight as you can comfortably support with the lower back.

BICEP CURL (STANDING)

  • Upper – Upward Pull

Move the weights from full extension to full flexion (you may start with palms facing in if that is more comfortable). It is critical to keep the torso still, and lift only with the arms. Variations: use a barbell/straight bar; use only one arm (keep the torso still by resisting the pull to the side as well as the front; finish the reps with one arm before switching arms).

BICEPS CURL (SEATED)

  • Upper – Upward Pull

In seated position, use thigh to keep upper arm stable so that work is done only by the biceps.

BIRD DOG

  • Trunk – Rotation

Start in a four-point position with weight supported on hands and knees. Lift one arm and the opposite leg so that both are parallel to the ground. Maintain balance on one hand and one knee; try to remain completely stable without moving at all. When finished, switch to the other arm and leg.

BIRD DOG (ADVANCED)

  • Trunk – Rotation

When the regular Bird Dog is no longer challenging, try this version. Swing the arm and leg back and forth approximately 45 degrees. The challenge is to keep the torso stable (only move the arm and leg) and to keep the arm and leg in the horizontal plane (parallel to the ground).

BOX JUMP

  • Lower – Hip/Knee/Ankle Extension

Choose appropriate box height (challenging but attainable). Begin with feet under hips and toes forward. Squat down (counter movement) before jumping upward explosively. Land with both feet entirely on top of box. Pause briefly with legs fully extended. Jump off backwards, away from box. Pause briefly and jump again; repeat for desired number of reps. Note: the front-landing view in this video illustrates landing technique: begin bending knees at first contact (don’t land stiff legged); bend knees sufficiently to absorb impact; try to keep knees aligned between ankles and hips.

CHEST PRESS

  • Upper – Chest Press

Trunk is supported by bench. Feet are on floor and back remains in contact with bench. Push weights vertically until arms are fully extended and pause briefly at top before lowering weights with control.

CHEST PRESS INCLINE

  • Upper – Chest Press

Same as regular (flat) chest press but bench is angled to create a different challenge to chest and shoulders. Bench can be angled higher or lower (including decline) on different days.

CHIN-UP

  • Upper – Upward Pull

Grab bar using underhand grip at approximately shoulder width (a little more or less, depending on what is comfortable). Thumbs can be under or over bar. Lift chin over the bar, pause briefly, and lower body with control until arms are fully extended. Do not swing or kip.

CLAPPING PUSH-UP

  • Upper – Chest Press

Same criteria as regular Push-Up regarding back, shoulder, hand positions. Push upward explosively and clap hands firmly together. As hands return to ground, be sure to immediately bend elbows to absorb impact.

DIPS

  • Upper – Downward Push

Note: ideally, select bars the same width as shoulders. Keep head up and torso as vertical as possible. Keep elbows over bars. At bottom: armpits above hands; lower shoulders so upper arms are at least parallel to ground. At top: arms straight with elbows locked out; shoulders depressed/head elevated as much as possible.

DORSIFLEXION

  • Lower – Ankle Flexion

Secure an elastic band and sit in position to keep proper tension on the band. Move back and forth from toes pointed completely down (plantarflexed) to completely up (dorsiflexed). Switch to other leg.

FLUTTER KICKS

  • Trunk – Flexion; Lower – Hip Flexion

Start position is Leg Lever Hold. Focus on keeping pelvis neutral with small of back against ground. Keeping legs straight, alternate raising and lowering right and left foot. Do not let feet touch ground, and only raise feet 12-18” above ground – keep constant tension on hip flexors.

FORWARD HOP (ONE LEG)

  • Lower – Ankle Lateral

Begin balanced on one foot. Using one leg, jump forward as far as possible while landing securely on the same foot (the goal is to not let the foot move at all after landing). Pause briefly before jumping again on the same foot. After completing the desired reps, do the same with the other leg.

FRONT PLANK

  • Trunk – Extension

Forearms comfortably placed to support body weight. Shoulders protracted (pushed forward). Feet close together (no wider than hips). Back remains straight: keep a straight line through heels, knees, hips, spine, and shoulders. Do not let the buttocks push into the air or sag towards the ground.

HEEL WALK

  • Lower – Ankle Flexion

Use controlled steps, keeping toes as far off the ground as possible (keep maximum tension on muscles in front of tibia). Can be done with or without extra weight in hands (Farmer’s Walk).

HIP ABDUCTION WITH BAND

  • Lower – Lateral Hip

Keep support leg and torso vertical. Move exercise leg out and in, keeping tension on lateral hip muscles.

HORIZONTAL PULL-UP

  • Upper – Row Pull

Hands comfortably spaced, approximately shoulder width. Back should remain straight at all times (don’t arch back or lower butt towards ground). At bottom: arms fully extended and relaxed. At top: chest contacts bar while drawing shoulder blades back. Place feet away from bar so body is approaching horizontal, not vertical. Note: a lower bar or elevated feet create a better effect.

LATERAL HOP (ONE LEG)

  • Lower – Hip/Ankle Lateral

Begin balanced on one foot. Leap to the side as far as possible while landing securely on the opposite foot (the goal is to not let the foot move at all after landing). Alternate leaping side to side from one foot to the other, maintaining balance when landing and pausing briefly, for desired number of reps.

LEG LEVER HOLD

  • Trunk – Flexion

Legs straight and together, with feet 6-8” off ground (not higher). Pelvis in neutral position – keep small of back in contact with ground; think of drawing the navel down towards the ground. Tailbone will be pointed away from ground and protected by buttocks, so it should not be necessary to place hands under buttocks. Keep hands behind head with neck in comfortable position. Note: the same instructions regarding pelvis apply to Flutter Kicks as well.

MANUAL HAMSTRING CURL

  • Lower – Knee Flexion

Spotter provides resistance in both directions (concentric and eccentric). Move through full Range of Motion, with leg straight at the bottom and heel as close to buttocks as possible at top. Keep thighs together and toes pointed down (don’t let thigh rotate in or out). Spotter adjusts resistance so leg moves up and down smoothly in a normal cadence without pausing. Spotter provides enough resistance to make effort difficult, but able to keep moving up and down. (Note: in this video, the spotter is on the far side to give a clear view of the exercise, but would be in better position on the same side as the exercising leg.)

MEDICINE BALL TOSS

  • Trunk – Rotation

Stand with back to wall, holding a med ball. Throw forcefully to one side; catch ball as it bounces back; throw forcefully to other side. Note: can do desired reps to one side before switching to other side if desired. Can adjust foot position so torso is turned more towards wall if necessary. Adjust distance from wall and weight of med ball as necessary.

MONSTER WALK WITH BAND

  • Lower – Lateral Hip

Place elastic band just above ankles and/or just above knees. Note: you can vary how many bands you use and where you place them, depending on what is comfortable, depending on how strong you are, and depending on the thickness of the band(s) you have. Crouch slightly and move laterally, keeping tension on the hip abductors. Open up so your feet are wider than your shoulders. Keep your feet wide or let them come closer together, depending on where you want to keep the tension on your hips.

NORDIC HAMSTRING CURL

  • Lower – Knee Flexion

Spotter keeps feet secured. Begin with torso erect; keep back straight at all times. Fall forward, using hamstrings to slow descent as much as possible, using hands to absorb impact at very end. Push off ground with hands, and use hamstrings to pull torso erect. Goal is to maximize contribution of hamstrings and catch/push with hands as little as possible.

PIKE PUSH-UP

  • Upper – Overhead Push

Create resistance to simulate an overhead press. Keep hips/trunk flexed to 90 degrees (pike position). At top: hands directly under shoulders, not wider; fingers forward, not inward (to direct elbows next to body, not flared away); feet comfortably placed for balance (not too wide).elbows locked out and shoulders fully elevated. At bottom: neck carefully extended; gently touch forehead to ground to create full Range of Motion.

PULL-UP

  • Upper – Overhead Pull

Hands comfortably spaced, approximately shoulder width. Use overhand grip; thumbs can be above or below bar. At top: pause briefly with chin entirely above bar. At bottom: arms at full extension and completely relaxed.

PUSH-UP

  • Upper – Chest Press

Back straight at all times (straight line from heels through knees, hips, shoulders). Hands directly under shoulders, not wider. Fingers forward, not inward (to direct elbows next to body, not flared away). Feet close together (narrower than hips). At top: elbows locked out and shoulders fully protracted. At bottom: chin, chest barely touch ground to achieve full Range of Motion, but body weight remains on hands and feet.

REVERSE CRUNCH

  • Trunk – Flexion

Start/finish position is same as Leg lever Hold. Lift hips off ground and bring knees in contact with elbows. Do not move chest or torso; do not move elbows towards knees. Return to leg lever Hold position with legs straight and feet slightly off ground. Attempt to complete all reps without letting feet touch the ground. Note: keep small of back in contact with ground at all times (keep pelvis neutral).

RUSSIAN TWIST

  • Trunk – Rotation

Sit on ground and lie back about 45 degrees with knees bent. You may perform this exercise with no extra weight, or hold a med ball, plate, etc. for extra resistance. Rotate torso to one side and touch the ground; rotate to other side and touch the ground; alternate. Keep hands directly in front of chest. Torso must rotate to bring hands/weight to ground. Do not swing the arms from side to side without rotating torso.

SCORPION

  • Trunk – Rotation

Start in prone position with arms away and legs together. Try to keep chest and shoulders in contact with ground at all times. Rotate lower torso and hips to swing one leg across body, touching heel to ground as close to hand as possible. Return to starting position and swing other leg across body to other side.

SHOULDER EXTERNAL ROTATION

  • Upper – Rotator Cuff

Lie on your side, on the ground or on a bench. Keep upper arm against your side. Keep elbow at 90 degrees so forearm remains perpendicular to ground. Keep torso still so the rotator cuff does all the work. Do not use a weight that is too heavy and forces you to use other muscles besides the rotator cuff. A good practice is to perform the motion first with no weight, and make sure to keep the same form and Range of Motion when you add weight.

SHOULDER PRESS

  • Upper – Overhead Push

Sit on a bench with back supported. Start with dumbbells at shoulder level, and lift weight directly overhead until arms are fully extended. Pause briefly and lower weights with control.

Note: this exercise can be performed seated without back support, or standing, or kneeling – but you must keep your torso stable and prevent your lower back from sagging (avoid exaggerated lumbar curve). Note: dumbbells allow more natural/comfortable shoulder position, but you can also use a barbell/straight bar.

SHOULDER PRESS ONE ARM

  • Primary: Upper – Overhead Push; Secondary: Trunk – Lateral

While standing, hold only one dumbbell, kettle bell, etc. Perform the overhead press motion while keeping the torso vertical (resist the forces that want to pull the trunk to the side).

SIDE PLANK

  • Trunk – Lateral

Forearm comfortably placed to support body weight. Hips remain off ground with midline straight from feet to neck. Hips remain between feet and shoulders; do not let buttocks push out behind torso. The plane of the chest and shoulders remains perpendicular to the ground (don’t let the chest roll forward). The top arm can rest on the torso or be raised straight up in the air, but it should remain in the same vertical plane as the torso. Note: the left side plank mirrors the left.

SIDE PLANK (ADVANCED - TOP LEG)

  • Trunk – Lateral; Hip – Lateral

Straight midline and perpendicular chest/shoulders (same as basic Side Plank). Challenge is increased by supporting torso with only top leg. Also develops muscles of the lateral and medial hip. Note: spend equal time supported with top leg and bottom leg; spend equal time on right and left sides.

SIDE PLANK (ADVANCED - BOTTOM LEG)

  • Trunk – Lateral; Hip – Lateral

Straight midline and perpendicular chest/shoulders (same as basic Side Plank). Challenge is increased by supporting torso with only bottom leg. Also develops muscles of the lateral and medial hip. Note: spend equal time supported with top leg and bottom leg; spend equal time on right and left sides.

SINGLE LEG BALANCE

  • Lower – Ankle Lateral

Fold arms across chest, and draw heel of one foot up to knee of opposite leg. Maintain balance on one leg for as long as possible. Initially perform with eyes open, but as balance improves (stable for 45 seconds or more), try to maintain balance with eyes closed. As balance improves, progress from hard floor to unstable surface.

SINGLE LEG BRIDGE

  • Primary: Lower – Hip Extension; Secondary: Trunk – Rotation; Lower – Knee Flexion

One leg placed for support so tibia is perpendicular to ground. Opposite leg is straight and extended off the ground. Create a straight line through knee, hip, spine, and shoulder. Keep thighs together. Drive hips and buttocks off the ground, remain steady, and do not roll towards the unsupported side.

STANDING LONG JUMP

  • Lower – Hip/Knee/Ankle Extension

Begin with feet under hips and toes forward. Squat down (counter movement) before jumping forward explosively. Land with control (feet stay in one place) and pause briefly before jumping again. Like the box jump, use good landing technique: begin bending knees at first contact (don’t land stiff legged); bend knees sufficiently to absorb impact; try to keep knees aligned between ankles and hips. Note: if you don’t have enough room to keep jumping in series, just walk back after each jump and start from the same place.

SIT-UP

  • Trunk – Flexion

Star with knees bent to 90 degrees, shoulder blades touching ground, arms folded across chest. (Can have feet secured by spotter, sandbag, etc. if necessary.) Smoothly curl trunk up starting with head, then shoulders, then middle back, then lower back, until elbows contact knees. Smoothly return to starting position in opposite order: lower back touches first, then middle back, then shoulders, finally head.

SUPERMAN

  • Upper – Posterior Shoulder; Trunk – Extension; Lower – Hip Extension

Begin in prone position with arms extended overhead. Keep arms and legs straight as you lift the chest and one arm and the opposite leg off the ground. Pause with arm and leg well off the ground, the switch to other arm/leg combination; alternate. Note: this can be performed as a static exercise by holding both arms and legs off the ground at the same level.

UPRIGHT ROW

  • Upper – Upward Pull

Stand straight with arms extended and weight held in both hands. Lift weight vertically to chin level. Use a weight that can be lifted with just the biceps and shoulders/upper back. If the legs or lower back are involved, the weight is too heavy.

VERTICAL JUMP

  • Lower – Hip/Knee/Ankle Extension

Begin with feet under hips and toes forward. Squat down (counter movement) before jumping upward explosively. Begin bending knees at first contact (don’t land stiff legged); bend knees sufficiently to absorb impact; try to keep knees aligned between ankles and hips. Jump continuously (no pause) while lowering the hips slowly to emphasize the eccentric portion.

WIPER

  • Trunk – Rotation

Back and shoulder blades remain in contact with the ground at all times, legs straight and together, hips at 90 degrees. Use muscles of torso to move legs back and forth in 180 degree arc, touching the ground on either side. Keep the tempo controlled so the torso moves the legs (don’t let momentum of legs move torso).

WOOD CHOPPER (HIGH)

  • Trunk – Rotation; Lower – Hip Rotation

Use a cable weight station. Grab the handle with arms held straight in front of the torso. Keep torso erect and rotate through a wide arc. Try to keep arms straight and in front of the torso so that muscles of the trunk are moving the weight (this is not an arm exercise). Can vary the path of the hands: high to low; horizontal; or low to high. Do equal work using same form on both sides.

WOOD CHOPPER (LOW)

  • Trunk – Rotation; Lower – Hip Rotation

Use a cable weight station. Grab the handle with arms held straight in front of the torso. Keep torso erect and rotate through a wide arc. Try to keep arms straight and in front of the torso so that muscles of the trunk are moving the weight (this is not an arm exercise). Can vary the path of the hands: high to low; horizontal; or low to high. Do equal work using same form on both sides.

Y EXERCISE

  • Upper – Mid/Lower Traps

Stand with arms at sides and weight in each hand. Keep arms straight and move to a “Y” position, with hands above shoulder level (not completely overhead). Arms are lifted about half way between the front and side planes (seen from the side, the arms are a little in front of the body). Use weights heavy enough to create a challenge but light enough to use proper form (move through the full Range of Motion and don’t use the legs or back). Note: there is maximum tension on the scapular muscles if the hands are in the thumbs down (“empty can”) position, but if this creates discomfort or pain, use the thumbs up (“full can”) position.