Exercise Ideas

Hosted by
San Diego Figure Skating Communications

Firehouse Fitness

       There are many books written of physical fitness that fill the shelves of local libraries, brick and mortar book stores, and web book sellers of new and used books.

        Magazines and newspaper may also carry weekly articles on fitness. Each week a fitness

        Firehouse Fitness features members of the San Diego Fire Rescue Department demonstrating exercises and stretching techniques that can be incorporated into almost any fitness routine.

Stand and deliver: The move: A push-up done in a standing position with body-weight resistance. Works on: Pectoralis, triceps and core stability strength.

Bouncing off the wall: The move: Dynamic trunk rotation with a weighted ball. Works on: Core strength and stability. Trunk rotational range of motion. When push comes to pull: The move: A single arm row with trunk rotation at the end of range. Works on: Latissimus, biceps, posterior deltoid and core stability strength.

Blades of glory: The move: Simultaneously performing a dumbbell lateral raise with the right arm and a dumbbell forward raise with the left arm.

A standing challenge: The move: An overhead, single-arm triceps extension using a dumbbell. Works on: Triceps strength. Level of difficulty: Easy

Stretch it out: The move: An anterior chest stretch combined with a static squat. Works on: Pectoralis and anterior shoulder flexibility. Lower extremity strength.

Fit to a 'T': The move: Shoulders and arms in a “T” position, stabilizing on an exercise ball. Works on: Shoulder, scapula and core stability. Level of difficulty: Intermediate to advanced, based on range of motion

Stretch for success: The move: Hip abduction in a supine position. Works on: Gluteus medius strength. Hip range-of-motion. Level of difficulty: Easy

Taking a firm stand: The move: Side-lying leg raise with elastic resistance. Works on: Gluteus medius strength. Isolating this muscle is important for balance and stability as we age.

Torque for the torso: The move: A Russian twist performed on an exercise ball. Works on: Abdominal oblique strength and range of motion. Core stability. Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Arm circles help to improve strength: The move: Performing large arc arm circles while lying on your side. Works on: Pectoral and anterior shoulder flexibility. Shoulder mobility. Level of difficulty: Easy

Stretch marks: The move: A glute stretch in a “Figure 4” position while sitting. Works on: Glute flexibility, hip mobility. Level of difficulty: Easy

Out to lunge: The move: Combining a bench lunge with an overhead dumbbell press. Works on: Leg, shoulder and arm strength. Abdominal and anterior hip flexibility. Core control.

Floor lift and shift builds shoulders, core, hips: The move: Performing hip and knee flexion with the “down leg” in a side plank position.

Slither: The move: Trunk extension while in a prone position. Works on: Glute, hamstring and spinal erector strength. Level of difficulty: Easy. Precautions: Do not perform this exercise if you have a low back injury in which you should avoid active extension exercises.

Good connections: The move: A standing stretch of the hip into internal rotation with the hip flexed to 90 degrees. Works on: Hip mobility. Stretches the hip external rotators. Level of difficulty: Easy

Plank lift's toning takes an arm and a leg: The move: Extending opposite arm and leg while in a plank position. Works on: Shoulder strength and stability. Core strength. Hip strength. Level of difficulty: Moderate

Plank lift's toning takes an arm and a leg: The move: Extending opposite arm and leg while in a plank position. Works on: Shoulder strength and stability. Core strength. Hip strength. Level of difficulty: Moderate

Reaching for a higher plane: The move: Spreading the legs while in a side plank. Works on: Shoulder, hip and core strength and core stability.

Try to resist: The move: A standard push-up with added resistance from elastic tubing. Works on: Pectoral and triceps strength. Level of difficulty: Easy

Challenging exercise works on several areas: The move: Placing the hands on the ground and using the arms to walk out into a plank position. Works on: Shoulder and core strength and stability. Hamstring flexibility.

A helping band: The move: Performing a free squat with resistance to abduction (legs spreading apart). Works on: Lower-extremity strength. Muscle coordination of the hips and knees.

An emphasis on the lower back, hamstring: The move: A combination of trunk extension and rotation with the torso cantilevered off a bench. Works on: Lower back, glute, and hamstring strength and spinal mobility.

Press on: The move: A bridge on an exercise ball combined with a dumbbell press. Works on: Glutes and hamstrings, core stability, chest and triceps. Level of difficulty: Intermediate.

Do the twist: The move: A twisting plank with the feet on an exercise ball. Works on: Upper extremity strength. Shoulder and core stability.

Take the low row: Tugging on pulley works several areas: The move: A low pulley row done while in a plank position. Works on: Core and shoulder stability. Biceps, lat, serratus anterior, and rhomboid strength.

Bridge builder: The move: A bridge on an exercise ball combined with an overhead raise. Works on: Glutes, hamstrings, core stability, chest, triceps and lats.

Stick with staff for a stretch; that'll help shoulder rotation: The move: Using a staff to stretch the shoulder in a 90-90 position. Works on: Pectoral and shoulder internal rotator flexibility. Shoulder joint mobility.

Get a grip, and work those arms and shoulders: The move: A lateral raise done from a plank position. Works on: Core and shoulder stability. Lat, serratus anterior, and rhomboid strength.

Slick move: The move: Performing a double heel slide in a bridge position. Works on: Glutes, hamstrings, core stability. Neuromuscular coordination.

Some hip moves: The moves: A quadriped fire hydrant, hip circles performed in a hand and knee position.

For best results, exercise requires dip commitment: The moves: Performing an arm dip with the hands on an exercise ball. Works on: Chest, anterior shoulder and triceps strength, trunk stability. Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Get on the ball: The moves: A reverse abdominal crunch with the legs unsupported while supine on an exercise ball. You'll need elbow room, alignment during leg lifts: The move: A single leg dead lift. Works on: Balance, hamstring and glute strength, core stabilization. Combine arm press, leg bridge for full workout: The move: Alternating single leg bridge and single arm press on an exercise ball. Works on: Glutes and hamstrings, core stability, chest and triceps.

Take care not to fall with advanced press: The move: A dumbbell overhead press in a high kneeling position. Works on: Balance, core stability, and shoulder and arm strength. Level of difficulty: Advanced

Hip, groin, lower back will benefit in the bend: The move: A standing stretch with opposing motions for the hip. Works on: Balancing muscle length and flexibility across the pelvis. Hip mobility. Groin and lower back flexibility.

In seconds, you've added a good stretch to your rotation: Cherry-picker stretch. The move: A standing, trunk rotation stretch. Works on: Trunk mobility, lat and oblique abdominal flexibility. Level of difficulty: Easy.

On balance, kneeling activity is a big challenge: The move: Kneeling on a foam roller for balance. Works on: Balance, core stability. Level of difficulty: Advanced.

Dumbbell exercise improves balance and core: The move: Performing a forward raise in a high kneeling position. Works on: Balance, anterior shoulder strength and core stability. Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Shoulder and torso exercise has its ups and downs: The move: A regular push-up with the torso twisted. Works on: Torso range of motion, shoulder stability, strength. Level of difficulty: Intermediate.

No strain, but gain in strengthening rotator cuff: The move: Supported shoulder external rotation with the shoulder and elbow at 90 degrees. Works on: Rotator cuff strength and health. Shoulder stabilization.

Stretches put flexibility on your side: THE MOVE: A stretch for the quadriceps done in a side-lying position WORKS ON: Thigh and hip flexor flexibility

A stretch to work the chest and the shoulders: The move: A pectoralis stretch while lying supine on a foam roller. Works on: Pectoralis and shoulder flexibility. Single-legged press strengthens lower body: The move: A supported, single leg squat with a simultaneous overhead press. Works on: Total lower extremity strength and flexibility, shoulder and triceps strength and balance. Level of difficulty: Intermediate.

It is your bridge to more core strength: The move: A supine bridge. Works on: Core strengthening. Chest, shoulder and forearm flexibility. Level of difficulty: Easy.

Technique is key to unsupported bent-over row: The move: A bent-over row without arm or knee support. Works on: Whole back strength and stability. Biceps and posterior shoulder strength.

Terminate tension with a work-friendly stretch: The move: Stretching the sub-occipital muscles at the base of the skull. Works on: Relieves muscle tension at the base of the skull.

Get on the ball for this challenging dumbbell press: The move: Combining a dumbbell press and oblique crunch while on a ball. Works on: Abdominal, shoulder and chest strength. Coordination of the trunk and arms.

This exercise will slowly build lower-body strength: The move: A simple, but maximal vertical leap Works on: Lower-extremity power, coordination. This exercise enhances muscle recruitment and is a great addition to any leg workout.

Get down to business on spine, shoulders, hip: The moves: A supine-lying, full-body counter rotation with resistance. Works on: Core strength, spine mobility, isometric shoulder and hip strength.

Swing time: Weighted ball increases core strength: The moves: A core stabilization exercise using a weighted ball. Works on: Core stabilization, upper extremity strength, whole-body energy transfer.

Pike's peak Exercise works the core and upper body: THE MOVE: Performing a “pike” motion with the legs on an exercise ball. WORKS ON: Upper extremity and core strength, shoulder and abdominal stabilization.

One step over the line, then another: The move: A forward walking lunge crossing over midline. Works on: Lower extremity strength, flexibility and balance. Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Side order: THE MOVE: A “side plank” with forearm support on a ball. WORKS ON: Abdominal strength and endurance, shoulder strength and stabilization, balance.

Fight sciatica with all the right moves: THE MOVE: A supine gluteus stretch. WORKS ON: Emphasis on stretching of the piriformis muscle. A tight piriformis can cause symptoms of sciatica, in which pain and/or a deep ache is felt in the buttocks, lower back or down the back of the leg.

Torso torque: THE MOVES: Torso rotation in a seated position using a weighted ball for resistance. WORKS ON: Oblique abdominals, core strength and endurance.

Going through motions builds rotator cuff strength: The move: A simulated throw emphasizing resistance on the return motion. Works on: Rotator cuff strength, coordination of force transmission through the trunk and arm.

On the ball: THE MOVE: A push-up performed with small balls under the hands. WORKS ON: Shoulder strength and stability, chest strength.

Shoulders will benefit from a touch of 'glass': Jill Murray officially retired in September, when this photo was shot. She is a prime example of what staying fit with functional exercise can do for you. She is “relatively” injury-free after her 29-year career and looks forward to putting her new surfboard, a retirement gift, to good use.

Turn style: THE MOVES: Performing a single leg squat to touch a low object. WORKS ON: Leg strength and flexibility. Balance.

The real zeal: A divorced mother with three children, Jeanie Czapinski paid the bills managing a Bay Area hospital's burn unit. Consequently, the kids were consistently exposed to firefighters.

Half-minute stretch hits below the belt: The moves: A groin stretch in a kneeling position. Works on: Groin area and inner thighs.

Breaking desk routines is a bit of a stretch: The moves: A low back and torso stretch performed in a sitting position. A great stretch break for those who work at a desk. Works on: Stretches the lower back and increases thoracic rotation.

Towel is all that's needed to strengthen shoulder: The moves: Performing a shoulder internal rotation stretch using a towel for assistance. Works on: Stretching the rotator-cuff muscles of the shoulder.

Exercise will build core and shoulder strength: The moves: Performing a side bend while in a side plank position. Works on: Core strength, shoulder strength and stability.

A turn for the better: Spine gains in mobility, chest is opened: THE MOVES: Trunk rotation while in an “all fours” position.
  Thigh will be done with a strong pull of a strap: THE MOVES: A combination quad/hip flexor stretch performed in a kneeling position. WORKS ON: It's an aggressive stretch for the upper thigh. Know squat: Exercise adds strength, flexibility: The moves: A squat with the legs crossed over each other.

Band exercise increases digit dexterity: THE MOVES: Finger and thumb extension using a rubber band for resistance. WORKS ON: The long extensors of the thumb and fingers. These muscles help balance the stronger muscles of the wrist and forearm that produce grip strength.

Prone stretch adds range to hip flexor: The moves: Stretching the hip flexor using a bench and a press-up motion. Works on: Stretches the hip flexor and opens the chest.

Take a seat, and strengthen shoulders, back: The move: A seated row with bilateral shoulder external rotation. Works on: Latissimus, teres minor, posterior shoulder.

Stretch gives upper body more range of motion: The moves: Stretching the lats using an exercise ball. Works on: Lat flexibility and opening of the chest. Tight lats can lead to decreased shoulder range of motion and shoulder injuries.

This Stork will deliver big benefits: THE MOVES: A bent-over dumbbell row during a single-leg mini-squat. WORKS ON: Balance and strengthening of the biceps, rear deltoid, rhomboids, glutes and hamstrings. Exercise is phenomenal for abdominals: The moves: Performing a pullover while lying supine on a stability ball. Works on: Chest and lat stretching, abdominal and lat strength.

Build up glute and hamstring strength with 'donkey kicks': The moves: Hip and knee extension in a standing position. Works on: Balance; glute and hamstring strength.

Advance-level exercise strengthens back, arms, shoulders: THE MOVES: Bilateral dumbbell rows while lying on a stability ball. WORKS ON: Biceps, rear deltoid, rhomboids and lower back.

Adding some pull power to your exercise routine: THE MOVES: A straight-arm pull down facing the resistance. WORKS ON: Strengthen the latissimus dorsi muscles (large muscles in the back) and teres major muscle (muscle that moves the arm). Shoulder-blade stability. Extending torso helps to strengthen the lower back: The move: Torso extension in a standing position. Works on: Glutes, hamstrings and lower back.

Several areas benefit from combining moves: The moves: A combination of squat and overhead press. Works on: Lower-extremity strength, shoulder and tricep strength.

A controlled burst of power is strong medicine: The move: A dynamic squat to stand with a medicine ball throw. Works on: Lower-extremity power. Gluteal muscle, hamstring and quad strength. Back and shoulder strength.

Put some more pull power in shoulders and arms: The move: A straight arm pull down with the arms held at the sides. Works on: Latissimus and rhomboid strength. Shoulder-blade stability.

Medicine ball chop leads to core stability: The move: A chopping motion using a medicine ball. Works on: Core, arm and shoulder strength. Trunk rotational flexibility.

Fire drills: Your biceps are bulging and your abs are flat and firm. You look fantastically fit, but are you fit for life?

Side squats require a balanced approach: THE MOVES: A side squat with one leg on an exercise ball. WORKS ON: Balance, trunk stabilization, lower-extremity strength with emphasis on the groin.

Time to toughen up the all-important lower back: THE MOVES: Performing pelvic tilts while sitting on an exercise ball. WORKS ON: Lumbar spine mobility; abdominal muscles; lower-back injury prevention by learning control of the lower-back area.

Bench dips help strengthen chest, triceps: The moves: Performing a bench dip with the feet on an exercise ball. Works on: Chest and triceps strength, trunk stability.

Crunch with ball works upper half of body: The moves: Performing a crunch in a push-up position. Works on: Upper extremity strength, shoulder and abdominal stabilization.

Advanced move works the shoulders, upper arms: The moves: Performing a bent-over row with the knees on an exercise ball. Works on: Rowing arm: rhomboid, posterior deltoid, biceps strength. Stabilizing arm: pectoral and anterior deltoid strength. Trunk: Core stabilization.

Put some power and stabilization where they're needed: The moves: Exercise band pulls in a “T” posture. Works on: Shoulder-blade stabilization; posterior deltoid and rotator cuff strength.

Give those abdominals an extra challenge: THE MOVES: Performing a side-lying abdominal crunch on an exercise ball. WORKS ON: Oblique abdominals and lower back.

Invite the band to join your workout: THE MOVES: Chopping simulation with rubber band. WORKS ON: Balance, hip rotation, oblique abdominal strength, trunk stabilization

Strengthen the hamstring and gluteal muscles: The moves: Performing hamstring curls in a bridge position with the feet on an exercise ball. Works on: Hamstring and gluteal strength, abdominal control, and trunk stabilization.

Giving the exercise ball a role in your routine: THE MOVES: Performing a bridge maneuver while the back is supported on a ball with the feet moving.

Hammer time: Metronomic repetitions build forearm muscles: THE MOVES: Performing pronation and supination of the forearm with resistance. WORKS ON: Strength and flexibility of the intrinsic muscles of the forearm.

Squat aids balance; improves strength in legs, hips: THE MOVES: A squat performed in a forward/backward stance with one leg on a ball. WORKS ON: Balance, trunk stability, lower extremity strength.

Bring some balance and strength to your life: The moves: A single-leg balance Works on: Balance, hamstring and gluteus strength, core stabilization.

Single-leg squat works on strength and balance: THE MOVES: A single-leg squat performed in a corner with the back supported by an exercise ball.

Ball brings new challenge to an old move: The moves: A push-up with an exercise ball. Works on: Upper extremity, chest and core strength. Defines and lifts the lower portion of the pectorals.

Work yourself into a corner with this stretch: The moves: A chest-opening stretch to reverse prolonged sitting posture. Works on: Stretching the chest (pectoral) muscles and abdominal control of the low back.

Dead bugs have strong abs: The moves: The Dead Bug. Works on: Core strengthening, pelvic stabilization and coordination. Setup: Choose a firm surface with minimal padding. Lay on your back and bend the knees so the feet can rest flat on the ground.

A tight band is not always a good thing: The moves: An iliotibial band stretch. Works on: A standing stretch of the iliotibial band (ITB). If tight, the ITB can contribute to hip bursitis and/or pain on the outside of the knee.

Put your shoulder blade to the test: The moves: A “push-up” using shoulder blade movement. Works on: Improving rotator cuff health, shoulder girdle coordination, serratus anterior strength.

Take a break from sitting with a standing back bend: THE MOVE: Standing back bend WORKS ON: Stretches the anterior chest, shoulders, trunk and hips. A great break from sitting for extended periods. Increases circulation.

Give balance ball a role in your regimen:
The moves: Sitting on a balance ball with single-leg support. Works on: Balance, core strength.

A perfect way to help those who don't know squat: The moves: Practice for a perfect squat. Works on: Lower extremity strength, back stabilization, balance.

Exercise improves shoulder and hip strength: Assume a hands and knees position. The arms and legs should be 90 degrees to the torso with the head in line with the spine (eyes looking toward the floor).

Stretching the shoulders and the hamstrings: The Moves: A postural stretch adapted from yoga. Works on: Lengthening the spine, chest and abdomen. Stretching the shoulders and hamstrings.

This stretch improves your flexibility: The moves: A behind-the-back handclasp stretch. Works on: Flexibility of the anterior shoulder, biceps and pectoralis muscles.

Lumbar spine stretch takes patience and practice: The moves: A lumbar spine stretch using a squat position. Works on: Spine mobility, lumbar flexibility, lower-extremity flexibility and strength.

Putting more power in your shoulder muscles: Each week, Firehouse Fitness features members of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department demonstrating exercises and stretching techniques that can be incorporated into almost any fitness routine.

Improve your motion, flexibility: thumbs up: The moves: Performing a shoulder-raise motion with the torso in a horizontal position.

Rotator cuff benefits from strengthening exercise: This is the first of a three-part series on rotator-cuff strengthening. The moves: An oblique forward raise with shoulder internal rotation.

Dips combine strength and balance  The moves: Standing, single-leg dip. Works on: Balance and lower extremity strength.

Stretch strengthens legs, but start slowly: The move: Side lunge Works on: Strengthening the lower extremities and dynamic stretching of the groin.

Stretch works on multitude of muscles: THE MOVES: Simple cross legs, forward reach. WORKS ON: Hip and lumbar spine mobility, groin flexibility.

Stretches can be done at work: THE MOVES: A simple but effective neck stretch. WORKS ON: Helps isolate the trapezius muscle that is often associated with tension headaches.

Stretch alleviates 'Little Leaguer's elbow': THE MOVES: The technical term is medial epicondylitis, but it is commonly known as "Little Leaguer's elbow." The symptoms are pain and tenderness on the inside of the elbow. The pain is usually just to the inside (toward the body) of the "funny bone."

Move strengthens hamstring, gluteal muscles: THE MOVES: A supine, single leg bridge. WORKS ON: The opposing bridge improves trunk and pelvis stability, abdominal control, neurological coordination, gluteus and hamstring strength.

Lifting move focuses on stability and balance: The moves: Alternating overhead dumbbell press while standing on one leg. Works on: Deltoids, triceps, trunk stabilization, balance.

Stretch is a break from 'desk posture': THE MOVES: Overhead press with trunk-side bend. Use this stretch as a break from postures used at desk work station, or any position that requires extended periods of forward leaning.

Exercise strengthens hips and legs: The moves: Single leg balance with hip rotation. Works on: Hip and leg strength. Vestibular and "visual flow" balance.

Uptight? Relax neck tightness: The move: Neck stretching. Works on: Relaxes the lateral (side) neck muscles.

90-90-90 Trunk Rotation: The moves: Supine rotation of the torso. Works on: Trunk range of motion and core strength.

Stretching the hamstrings with a rope: THE MOVES: A two-position hamstring stretch using a rope or similar tool. WORKS ON: Stretching the hamstring muscle and hamstring tendons.

Stretch helps ease, curb tennis elbow: THE MOVES: Stretch for tennis elbow. WORKS ON: Stretches the back of the forearm.

Exercise increases shoulder flexibility: THE MOVE: Step Through WORKS ON: This exercise stretches the muscles of the anterior (front) shoulder (Pectoralis Major and Anterior Deltoid). This exercise helps improve mobility of the shoulder blade and its ability to retract (shoulder blade moving toward the spine). Lack of flexibility to these areas may lead to shoulder pain.

A minor addition provides relief for aching feet: THE MOVES: This small addition to a calf stretch can help alleviate pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that results in pain at the base of the heel and/or arch of the foot.

Bring some more balance to your life: The moves: Doorway Foreword / Backward Sway Works on Balance and body awareness

This stretch helps the spine, back and shoulders: The move: Sitting Spine Rotation. Works on: Stretches the lower and mid back and shoulders, and opens the chest. Improves blood flow to muscles that have been static.

This exercise is a bridge to core stability: THE MOVE: Bridge WORKS ON: Stabilizes core (abdominal and low back) muscles and strengthens gluteus maximus (buttocks) and hamstrings (back of your thighs) muscles.

Use rubber band, if you have a shoulder to try on: THE MOVE: Standing shoulder external rotation with a rubber band.

Get hip: Squat helps balance, strength: THE MOVE: Split squat WORKS ON: Strengthening leg and hip muscles while improving balance and hip flexibility.

Recommended Reading:

Physical and Mental Training Considerations


Developing A Training Plan

Fitness Training Plans


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:


Fitness Training Plans
Fitness Exercises
Fitness Components For All Ages
Exercising Programs
Firehouse Fitness
Benefits of General Physical Preparedness
Fitness for Sports & Life Activities
Fitness Program Components
PDF  Sports Medicine Links

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

Athlete Concerns     Collection of Related Ideas    Skating Articles    Related Topics      

Ice Skating Rink Index    Topic Index    Site Index   Home Page