Sounds like another catch phrase applied by the fitness industry to grab potential clients or gym clientele, but it's much more than that. Exercise that is geared towards a functional end or a specific task, whether it be running a marathon or pulling a ceiling, can be loosely regarded as task specific. Real success, defined by the ability to perform the selected activity at the necessary level and without injury, can only be achieved through a systematic approach.
It's critical that you develop a thorough understanding of the job at hand as well as how to move efficiently, and without undo stress or strain to your muscles, joints, or connective tissue. In this series of articles we are going to take a segmental view of various firefighting activities, and show how to encourage optimal performance and unprecedented protection of your bones and soft tissues. In the end, we'll put it all together in to help you identify your weakness, and make the necessary corrections.
Weakness can fall into three broad categories.
Usually the first category is the only one dealt with by most fire departments or emergency service personnel, and without overall fitness, all is else would be lost. However, this doesn't address the firefighter's individual weaknesses (Category B) and, sometimes faulty, movement patterns (Category C) exhibited during extreme physical exertion. First identification, then systematic elimination of major flaws, backed up by muscle balancing exercise is what's called for.
In order to simplify the process, we'll take several of the most basic of firefighter activities (listed below), describe what's involved, and allow you to compare this to your own approach. Today's article features The Hose Stretch, from arrival of the apparatus until nozzle placement. In future articles we'll alternate between both the Engine and Ladder Company Series.
Engine Company Series