Big game hunting gets a lot of attention. With majestic animals like elk and moose, it is no wonder why so much attention is paid to big game hunting. When you consider the kind of training that is required for a successful big game hunt, it is no wonder that so much attention is given to big game hunting in the fitness world.
But should it be that way? I think not. For anyone who has done a fair amount of upland hunting, the physical demands of chasing quail, grouse, or pheasant are all too familiar. There is great benefit to be had by training for your upland hunts this fall. Doing so will not only help you locate and take more birds; it will also make the entire experience more enjoyable.
To train specifically for upland hunting, you need to focus on your core and your legs. Upland hunting involves a lot of walking, hiking, and swinging a shotgun side to side.With this in mind, this workout will focus on building stamina in your legs and strength and flexibility in your core.
Here are some exercises to get you into top shape for your upland hunts this fall:
Warm-up: StairMaster or treadmill walking on incline for 15 minutes at moderate pace.
This will improve your muscle endurance while hiking as well as improve lower body flexibility. Step forward with your right leg and bend your right knee until your left leg makes a straight line. Bend your knee so that your right leg makes a 90 degree angle (go deeper if you can); be sure to go deep enough that you feel a slight stretch in your back leg. Then, drive up with your right leg and bring your left foot forward. Repeat for the other side until you have completed 10-15 reps per leg.
Calf-Walk (Not Pictured)
Either with body weight or with dumbbells in hand, perform a standing calf raise and hold at the top of the motion. Then, begin slowly walking on the balls of your feet, never letting your heel touch the ground. Perform 15-30 repetitions.
Start with your legs together. Step out to the side with your right leg. Lower your hips, keeping your chest out, shoulders back, and your eyes forward, until your right leg makes a 90 degree angle at the knee. Shift your weight so that your torso stays centered over you right leg; this will ensure that your right leg is holding the majority of your body weight). Then drive upward with your right leg, returning your right foot to the starting position. Repeat for the other side until you have completed 10-15 reps per leg.
Make sure to keep your arms straight and shoulders squared. Your should be turning at your waist, not your shoulders. Begin from a high pulley and bring the cable down in a chopping motion toward the ground. After performing 12-15 reps, repeat for the other side.
Sit with your legs slightly bent and heels on the ground. With your torso at a 45 degree angle with the ground, slowly turn side to side with your arms directly in front of you. With this move, the slower, the better. Turning to the left and then to the right is one rep. Weight optional.
Cardio: Treadmill at max incline – brisk walking pace for 20 minutes.