Fitness for waterfowl hunting? Really? Yes, even those who hunt from a blind or a boat need to remember that fitness has a place in all forms of hunting. No matter where you hunt ducks or geese, training for waterfowl hunting can improve you ability to bag a few extras and reduce the risk of injury.
Think of the movements a waterfowl hunter makes: quickly raising up to shoot (either from a seated or laying position), traversing through marshy and unstable landscape, etc.. Often times this is happening when temperatures have dropped so muscles are more stiff. Without proper training, the risk of injury is through the roof and one may not be as efficient as he or she would be with just a little training.
Any hunter should be exercising regularly, however the following exercises will ensure that you are in peak hunting shape come duck/goose season:
The deadlift is the cornerstone of any hunter’s workout. It involves the entire body, improves strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, the whole nine. Using proper form and a reasonable weight will ensure that your entire body benefits from this outstanding move. Perform 3-4 Sets of 12-15 reps with 90 seconds rest between sets.
This explosive move is a great overall upper body conditioning move. It improves fast-twitch muscle response and allows you to be more efficient in moving up and down. Be sure to use proper form to avoid risk of injury. If a weight is too heavy for you to maintain proper form, lower the weight. Breaking your pride hurts a lot less than breaking your back. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.
Turkish Get Ups are great for improving flexibility and balance. They are also great for those of you who hunt from a laying or crouched position. This move will condition your entire body for having to come up to a shooting position. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets
Raising and lower your shotgun can get tiring, especially on your shoulders. Performing lateral raises with a 2 second isometric hold at the top of each rep will ensure that your shoulders build up proper endurance. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.
Due to the lateral swinging of your shotgun when moving your sight picture across the sky, your core must be conditioned for side to side movement. The woodchop is a great core move that also engages your upper and lower body. Make sure that you are keeping your shoulders squared with your hips and rotate at your waist to prevent you from compensating with your arms and chest. Also, try alternating going top to bottom one set and then bottom to top the next. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps resting 60 seconds between each set.
This move will finish off your core and stabilizers since your body must balance as you complete the move. Be sure to rotate at your waist, not at your upper back. Rotating at your waist will violate your midsection and ensure proper muscle engagement. Perform 2 sets of 50 reps with 90 seconds rest between sets.
If you will incorporate this workout 1-2 times per week into your workout regimen, you will be ready to tackle whatever the skies throw your way when waterfowl season comes to your state. Get after it now and you will be thankful later.