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Girls With Guns: 5 Workout Tips for Women to Improve Shooting Endurance

By    |   Monday, 02 March 2015 12:09 PM

Physical conditioning for shooters, whether they are in competition or just want to maximize their skill, is an important tool to facilitate endurance and accuracy. Most "girls with guns" or as they are better identified, "well armed women," can benefit from a regular workout routine designed not only to improve their performance at the range, but also to ensure that in a moment of self-defense, a lack of physical fitness will not negatively impact the situation.

According to the Civilian Marksmanship Program, "An individual in good condition can withstand more stress during a competitive situation. Improving muscle tone and the cardiovascular and respiratory systems will help in coping with a stressful situation. One of the best ways to ease a nervous condition is to get in good physical shape."

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Here are five workout tips for women to improve shooting endurance:

1. Core Strength: These are the muscles between the hips and the shoulders including the stomach and back. All of these muscles serve to support the upper and lower body and core fatigue will decrease a shooter's endurance. An easy way to increase core strength is by doing planks. With the toes and hands on the floor, raise the body into a position horizontal to the floor, like a plank of wood. Hold the position for as long as possible, release and repeat.

2. Leg strength: Standing for long periods can cause leg fatigue and affect the shooting stance. According to Discovering the Outdoors, "The primary lower-body muscles used in shotgun sports are the quadriceps and the calves. Leg muscles provide a sturdy foundation during long firing sessions and are important for shotgunners who shoot with bent knees or hike through sporting clays courses." Squats are a fitness stable for women that work the gluteus, hips, hamstrings and quadriceps and can be performed anywhere.

3. Cardiovascular training: Heart health is critical to shooting endurance, not because there is a lot of aerobic activity involved but because a slow, steady heartbeat and calm breathing can facilitate better control and accuracy – especially when shooting under pressure. Any form of aerobics, whether walking, running or even dance aerobics such as Zumba will increase heart health.

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4. Hand and forearm strength: Guns vary in weight but even the lightest gun can feel heavy in a weak hand. Hand grippers and wrist curls are an excellent way to increase strength and corresponding endurance.
According to Livestrong, "Wrist curls are easily executed with a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell...sit on a bench or chair and hold a dumbbell in your right arm with your right forearm resting on your right thigh, palm facing up. Allow the dumbbell to roll out of the palm down to the fingers. Raise the dumbbell back up by gripping the dumbbell and pointing the knuckles up as high as possible. Lower the dumbbell and repeat."

5. Stretch before shooting: Unless in a self-defense situation, stretching before shooting can be a huge benefit to women in terms of accuracy and endurance. According to rifle shooter and 2008 Olympian, Jamie Beyerle, "Many people believe shooting is all about just standing still, and being tight is a good way to do that. This statement is not completely true. Flexibility and relaxation go hand in hand. Stretching before shooting is just as important as stretching for a physical sport. If you are not stretched out before shooting, your body loosens up and your position changes the longer you shoot. If you stretch, this change is much smaller if there is any change at all,” reports USA Shooting.

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Physical conditioning for shooters, whether they are in competition or just want to maximize their skill, is an important tool to facilitate endurance and accuracy. Most girls with guns can benefit from a regular workout routine.
girls with guns, exercise, women
Monday, 02 March 2015 12:09 PM
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