ed dixon
July 26, 2003, 08:54 PM
Does anybody do exercises specific to being a better shooter? Not for general health or vanity, but to literally perform better at the range, in the woods, etc. Something you wouldn't do if you weren't picturing the shooting iron in your hands. (I'm not referring to dry-firing but to an actual physical regimen for building strength, endurance and so on. Like some archers do.)

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July 26, 2003, 09:56 PM
Jeff Cooper has recommended (somewhere in his writings - can't recall exactly where) that a rifleman should exercise with the gun, bringing it to the ready position, aiming, snapping into a shooting position, etc. Sounds good to me.

Dave R
July 26, 2003, 10:23 PM
I've heard the same kind of thing for skeet/trap shotgun shooters. Practice mounting and swinging a lot. Prevents fatigue in those long tournaments ;)

El Tejon
July 26, 2003, 10:35 PM
I always describe dry practice as Taijigun.:D

Any hand/forearm exercise is a must [other exercises are a must as Vaughn will state shortly, such as running and the trunk--however, these are the ones I do for hand, finger, grip strength]. I practice exercises that my boxing club practices:

1. the windlass (3 foot dowel rod with hole in middle, 2 to 10 pound weight attached by rope [use black for enhanced tacticality]), wind down and up, palms down, palms up, one palm up and other down while in horse stance, 10 times each.

2. the lever (3 foot dowel, but hole 1.5" from top), rotate hand in semi-circle, left to right and right to left, 10 times. In addition, move bottom of rod to weight and back. In both exercises attempt not to let weight move.

3. fingertip pushups, lots of them. Hold in down position to strengthen hands.

4. Panther and Tiger push ups. Panther is also called "hand crawling" where one "hops" forward, back and side to side. In club we hop in circles--it is no fun!

5. Phonebook toss [Vaughn's right, this one will make your arms bark]. Take Indy (or wherever) phone book, wrap it in duct tape (another use for this miracle product!). Toss with one hand, catch with other. Catch with palm and wrap fingers around. With partner and alone.

6. Coin pick up. Take 50 nickels, put on table, get in horse stance, pick up nickels quickly as possible, place in other hand without dropping. If drop, have to start over! If going too slow, instructor will make you start over. Groan.

7. Reverse curls and forearms curls with long bar, add weight with progress. Can also use dumbells.

8. Sand bag toss. Get bag about 14" by 14", fill 1/3 with sand (more later), toss with partner. Can also use bag for iron skin and backstop to clear or dry practice. Can be done with partner and alone.

9. Brick catch. Take cinder block [I use a rectangular piece of concrete like a stepping stone in a garden, start with something lightish and work up], drop from shoulders while in horse stance, clap hands and recatch while falling. Warning: watch your toes those first few times. [Can use a jar filled with sand as well. Fill jar, grab with fingers at top and carry around with you--helps to be bachelor as sand can have negative impact on carpet and wifey's 'tude.]

I work out with long guns. Excercises, militree presses, lat raises, curls, etc. Just holding pistols out with one hand helps. I still do pencil shooting, but I use a 1911.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need any further info.:)

*EDIT: inserted comments and typos after Vaughn's post and I forgot about the jar thing inserted in brackets.

July 26, 2003, 11:05 PM
Well oddly enough El T, my gunsmith buddy started me on some of the same things a long time ago. thought he was nuts at the time--I know better now.
So , using El Tejons list #'s I do:

2-kinda, sorta, similar?
3- I push against the wall and increase the angle

I squeeze tennis balls and hard rubber balls [ no smart remarks 'kay]

Unloaded, handgun practice :dryfire, draw, strong and weak hand--sometimes add weight to forearms.

Shotguns, been known to dryfire as much as 1k rds in day When not prepping for a big shoot and more sane- 200 dry targets a day.--I had targets taped and hanging -and replicated all the stations and angles. Sometimes I would add weight to forearms, guns or both. I had to explain the chalk outlines to the wifey in the garage. She wouldn't let me use chalk on the spare bedroom carpet.;)

And I do some other stuff.

EL T, what is the idea of coin pick up dealie ? Dexterity ?

July 26, 2003, 11:06 PM
I don't practice any "gun kata" like they did in the movie, just my Kenpo.

El Tejon
July 27, 2003, 08:55 AM
re, finger speed and dex. Used also to induce pain in office types. (I'd rather do pushups--groan).

July 27, 2003, 10:19 AM
what if i just carry around a 15lb. ar and a sidearm for a couple hours through the woods on the weekends.... that seems to be getting more normal as november approaches... :confused:

July 27, 2003, 10:47 AM
The biggest exercise for me is cardio. Simply put, any fight is going to require that you have some wind so you can keep up the fighting or running, as the situ requires.

El Tejon's basic training series would be a good one to follow if you're keen on pain. The phonebook is a killer as it involves multiple muscle groups.

Focus on lateral and front raises to build up your deltoid muscle group. Hitting the posterior deltoid with wide-grip barbell rows is a good idea for overall development and balance (prevents injury). These muscles are needed to hold that pistol out there for long periods.

Abdominal workouts are a must to help you take a punch. Triceps are required for throwing a good punch.

Basically, I workout with the express understanding that it makes me a better fighter. I don't do boxing/martial arts because there isn't anywhere around me that caters to that stuff, but I do move the iron pile. Yesterday was leg day and I'm still feeling the Romanian Deadlifts (very tactical-sounding name) and Deep Squats. Calves aren't a problem area, but that Butt is flabby and soft!

Monday will be cardio-only. Tuesday is upper body time and I'll be hitting the triceps and deltoids heavy. The standard benchpress is good for all sorts of things (hits the anterior deltoid, pectorals and triceps).

Start light and work your way up to the big stack. You'll feel better. You'll sleep better. You'll fight better.

J Miller
July 27, 2003, 11:37 AM
:what: Geeze, from what you guys are describing I'm useless as bXXXX on foot locker. Due to injuries and other problems the doctors cant, (or wont) diagnose I'm in constant pain and lucky if I can hold a pen to write a whole page.
I keep moving and flexing and have a 3# and a 5# mini barbell to work with, but to even begin to do what you do..............I'd need a new body.
My shooting has suffered terribly both in quality and quantity due to this.
But sometimes I get out.

El Tejon
July 27, 2003, 11:49 AM
Triple ditto what Vaughn sez about cardio. In addition to forms--empty and weapon, I run on the treadmill. YMMV.

I believe I read Tom Clancy who wrote that running to or from battle was THE most important skill a man could have. Running is the most basic of all martial arts and serves as the foundation for lots of things, including good health.

Of course, running is also a very good excuse to go to the gym and look at young females. All the motivation I need.:D

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