In past entries in the shooting science series, we’ve looked at lower body, upper body, and core conditioning exercises, all of which have had a very general focus on targeting generalized areas in which the shooter can use conditioning to improve their scores. Today, we’re going to look at moving with speed and power. First, I recommend that you watch the “Shooting on the Move” segment in the ParaUSA Gunblogger Weekend videos to cover the basics on shooting on the move. Our main focus however isn’t going to be on shooting on the move, but rather on explosive movement.
IDPA generally requires less movement than USPSA, however in IDPA you’ll often see short, 1-3 yard dashes from one piece of cover to the next, where you then have to abrubtly stop and fire from behind cover at various targets. A great way to shave seconds off your time is develop an explosive first step out of the shooting box and develop short term speed. The first thing that I recommend if you’re thinking about starting such a workout is stretching. Lots and lots of stretching. At this past weekend’s IDPA match, I nearly pulled a large muscle in my lower body, which is still sore as I’m typing this to you right now – and I hurt that muscle because I have not been following my own advice on proper stretching.
A great way to develop that explosive first step is the use of “plyometric” exercises, which I should say are generally not beginner level exercises, as they require a certain level of fitness before being attempted. However, a plyometric squat is a great way to develop that quick power you need to launch yourself out of the shooting box. Another good way to develop that power is to run the classic gym class exercise…wind sprints. That’s right, your old nemesis from 8th grade is back with a vengance. Adding wind sprints and plyometrics to your existing exercise regimen are great ways to build that speed and power so you can move out of the shooting box to your next location as fast as possible.
For our next installment (coming on Wednesday) we’ll look at specific exercises and how to have the proper form throughout your exercise.