Run and Gun: Three Moves to Get Fit for Turkey Season
By: Jeremy Koerber, Fit to Hunt
It does not take a lot of effort to sit at the base of an oak tree and wait for a turkey but the ability to run ridges, climb hills and get ahead of a bird significantly increases your odds of tagging a spring gobbler. Throughout my turkey hunting career, I have had numerous situations where my ability to belly crawl, hold a plank, bend, and get up and go to cut off a bird resulted in me punching a tag. A strong core also makes toting a bird over your shoulder just a little bit easier. Here are a few of our favorite exercises that will help you take to the hills this spring and make your experience in the turkey woods just a little bit better!
Crawl with Pause
The ability to stay low to sneak up on a wary gobbler is a skill we all need. The Crawl with a pause takes that concept and adds an element we call time under tension. It is a bear crawl on steroids. To perform, assume a bear crawl position and as you perform the movement, hold the outstretched position 3-5 seconds per rep. Perform two to three sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Lunge Squat Lunge Combo
Running ridges and traversing steep landscape requires both muscular strength and endurance. This move provides that and more! Stand with your feel a little wider than shoulder width apart. Step back into a reverse lunge with your right leg, return to the start position, perform a body weight squat then step back into a reverse lunge with your left. That is one rep. Perform two to three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.
Bent Over Two Arm DB Row
Upper back strength is imperative to any activity. It allows you to carry your pack and firearm with ease on top of producing greater stability when you shoulder your shotgun. To perform this move, grab two dumbbells then hinge forward keep a flat back. Row both dumbbells until your upper arm is parallel to your back then return to the start position. Perform two to three sets of 8 to 15 repetitions.
Bonus: Log some miles
Strength is important but increasing your aerobic fitness will give you the energy and stamina to run the ridges and not be completely gassed when you get to the top. Whether you walk, hike, ruck or run is up to you and will likely be indicative of where your fitness levels are today. Rest assured, logging some miles pre-season will increase your odds of punching more tags and having more enjoyable hunts.
The spring season will be here before you know it. Starting an exercise program now is the best way to ensure you have the physical traits to match wits with an animal who has learned from the moment it hatched to avoid predation. They can see better than you, hear better than you, are faster than you and oh yeah, they can fly. Boost your chances by getting and staying #FitToHunt. We promise you will fill more tags!
The Strutter program focuses on muscle groups and movement patterns that will help boost performance this spring.
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And if you have any fitness or turkey hunting questions, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck this Spring and stay #FitToHunt!