Female Fitness for Duty: Should we Train Differently? (Part 2)

Kathleen Vonk

Law & Order Magazine 2011

(Reprinted with permission)

In Part 1 of this series, we reviewed the obvious and discreet differences between men and women in many facets of the human body and mind, whether referring to everyday people, police officers, or hardened criminals. Women in law enforcement have to work alongside and get along with their male colleagues; they also must pursue and fight with oftentimes faster and stronger male criminals. Therefore, ladies on the job may want to consider training not only harder but also smarter to earn respect from peers - and more importantly - win violent confrontations with criminals. In Part 2, Kathy provides a workout plan for use if an officer had only 15 minutes each day for exercise, push ups (and variations), pull ups (with assistance and without if possible), a few core exercises, and a 3D Dumbbell Matrix1 would be the activities of choice. Here are some other examples, as well as the 3D Dumbbell Matrix in detail:

Push ups from the kneeling position

Plyometric push ups (starting from the kneeling position let your upper body fall forward, catch yourself in the down position as though doing a push up from the knees, and explosively push your upper body back to the “up” position on the knees)

Push ups on an elevated platform (either bench or buddy)

Pull ups with a 1 ¾” elastic exercise band looped around one knee for assistance (palms facing away as though climbing a fence)

Tricep dips on a bench or chair

Stability ball roll out, log rolls, and skiers (core)

Medicine ball core exercises (hold the heavy ball out in front of your body): shake side-to-side, up and down, write the alphabet, spell your name, outline ribbons, wood choppers

Medicine ball catch and toss on a balance board (core)

Calf bounce or jump rope

Squat jumps

Vertical jumps

Walking lunge

Double leg hops (forward, lateral left and right, backwards): add small obstacles such as banana steps or cones

Standing long jumps

Skipping for maximum height

Skipping for maximum horizontal distance

Karaoke left and right

Side shuffle left and right

Upper body metabolic circuit using an exercise band with handles (Juan Carlos Santana)

20 push ups (on a box or from your knees if you have to)

Immediately do the following with the band:

20 rapid fire chest press

20 right hand only chest press

20 left hand only chest press

20 double arm fly press

20 right arm only fly

20 left arm only fly

Immediately drop and do 10 plyometric push ups (with an airborne phase, or drop push ups from the knees)

Lower body metabolic circuit on carpet, grass, or other cushioned surface

24 stationary squats

24 stationary lunges (12 each leg)

24 alternating split squat jumps (12 each leg)

12 stationary squat jumps

3-D Dumbbell Matrix (Gary Gray) Use very light weights or no additional weight when first starting this routine.

6x (3 each side) overhead military press (everything is one-handed, alternating)

6x Y-presses

6x rotational military press

6x bicep curls

6x upright rows

6x cross upper cuts

6x forward reaching lunge

6x lateral reaching lunge

6x transverse reaching lunge

6x front reaching lunge to overhead press

6x lateral reaching lunge to overhead press

6x transverse reaching lunge to overhead press

Seek advice from a certified personal trainer for proper technique.

Double leg hops over banana steps

Double leg lateral hop over cone

Stability ball roll out start

Stability ball roll out second position

Log rolls


3-D Dumbbell Matrix “Y” press

3-D Dumbbell Matrix transverse lunge

3-D Dumbbell Matrix cross upper cut

1Gray, Gary. www.grayinstitute.com

Kathleen Vonk has been a police officer since 1988. She earned a BS in Exercise Science from Michigan State University. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and a Certified Physical Fitness Specialist by the Cooper Institute. She has designed and implemented a corporate wellness program for her agency (Ann Arbor PD, Mi) and for the police academy at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor. She is a subject matter expert and instructor-trainer for the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and teaches a Public Safety Wellness Instructor Program (PWI) through LouKa Tactical Training which can be tailored to any state or agency. See the course description at www.loukatactical.com Kathleen can be reached at kathyvonk@aol.com