What is a Police Workout?

Nicholas K.

A police workout is a general phrase that covers all training for fitness examinations conducted by police departments. Every police fitness exam tests a prospective officer's flexibility with the sit-and-reach test. A trainee must also showcase his or her upper body and core strength to pass fitness examinations. Every police department assesses a trainee's endurance and speed with a timed run. A police workout focuses on raising a student's competencies in all of these fields.

Police workouts focus on testing and improving officers' physical fitness.
Police workouts focus on testing and improving officers' physical fitness.

Police academies often start with a flexibility exercise called the sit-and-reach test. This test requires a trainee to sit down and extend both arms as far as possible toward the feet. A police workout utilizes extensive stretching routines to improve scores on the sit-and-reach test. This routine might include standing and sitting hamstring stretches along with outer hip stretches. A trainee should also incorporate groin and lower back exercises to avoid injury during the sit-and-reach test.

Police workouts emphasize upper body strength.
Police workouts emphasize upper body strength.

Another element of the fitness examination is a timed sit-up or crunch test. The test proctor allows each student to perform as many sit-ups or crunches as possible in one minute. The core workout section of a police workout focuses on improving abdominal strength. A police workout pushes a trainee to build up abdominal power with alternating sit-ups and crunches. Another element of the core workout is leg raises, which require a trainee to lay flat and raise the legs slowly.

Sprinting is often considered an important part of a police workout.
Sprinting is often considered an important part of a police workout.

Many police departments use a maximum bench press test to assess a trainee’s upper body strength. This test asks trainees to lift bench bars with predetermined weights based on body weight. Every police workout incorporates multiple resistance exercises to ensure completion of the maximum bench press test. A trainee builds strength with multiple bench press repetitions completed three times a week. A police workout also utilizes tricep, bicep, and shoulder exercises to boost upper body strength required for the maximum bench press test.

Police workouts may include uphill sprints.
Police workouts may include uphill sprints.

The final element of a police fitness examination is a timed run that lasts between 1 and 2 miles (1.6 to 3.2 km). A police department requires trainees to complete timed runs promptly to demonstrate endurance. The typical police workout mixes sprints with distance running to build up a young officer's cardiovascular capacity. A combination of track sprints and hill sprints allows a trainee to gain enough speed for the timed run. A police workout also asks a trainee to complete at least a 0.5 mile (0.8 km) more than the test requires, thus staving off exhaustion down the stretch.

Many police departments use a maximum bench press test to assess a trainee’s upper body strength.
Many police departments use a maximum bench press test to assess a trainee’s upper body strength.

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