Best Army PRT Exercises Guide: Physical Readiness Training

Army PRT Exercises

The Army’s Physical Readiness Training (PRT) is designed to improve the physical and mental toughness, agility, and stamina of a soldier. The program is based on the principle that Soldiers who are physically and mentally tough are able to better handle the stresses of combat and other operational missions.

In this guide, we will cover all 8 drills of the Army PRT exercises along with the 43 total activities that comprise them.

Each drill and activity is meant to be performed in the order that it’s listed, and all are meant to be done within the same training session.

1. Army PRT Preparation Drill Exercises

The army PRT preparation drill is performed before each army PRT session, while in a pre-exercise state.

Duration:

  • Each exercise is performed using a slow cadence for 5-10 reps, excluding high jumpers and push-ups, which are performed for 5-10 reps using a moderate cadence speed.

Muscles Targeted:

  1. Explosiveness, movement, balance, and strength
  2. Legs
  3. Trunk
  4. Back
  5. Shoulders
  6. Chest
  7. Arms

This drill consists of 10 exercises:

  1. Bend and Reach
    • Bend at the waist, keeping your back straight, and reach toward your feet with your hands.
    • Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then release.
  2. Rear Lunge
    • Stand with feet hip-width apart.
    • Step back with your left foot and lower into a lunge, keeping your front knee behind your toes.
    • Press through your left heel to return to standing, and repeat on the other side.
  3. High Jumper
    • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and arm straightened in line with the torso
    • Begin doing small jumps while swinging each arm front to back.
    • On every third rep increase the height of your jump.
  4. Rower
    • Begin lying flat on your back with straight arms and lower body.
    • Crunch upwards by moving the upper body and arm forward, while simultaneously bringing your feet towards your buttocks.
    • Move back to the flat position and repeat.
  5. Squat Bender
    • Start with a wide stance and hands on your hips.
    • Then extend your arms straight out and squat down until your legs are bent at 90 degrees.
    • Stand back up, and place your hands back to your sides.
    • From here bend down like you’re touching your toes.
    • Then go back to the starting position and repeat the full motion
  6. Windmill
    • Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms parallel to the ground.
    • Squat down, keeping your back straight.
    • Reach out with your left hand and touch your right foot.
    • Reset to the standing position.
    • Then squat down, reach out with your right hand and touch your left foot.
  7. Forward Lunge
    • Step forward with your left foot, and lower your body toward the floor by bending your knees into a staggered stance squat.
    • Keep your torso upright, and core braced.
    • Pause, and then return to the starting position.
    • Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
  8. Prone Row
    • Lie face down on the floor with your arms extended forward and your legs flat on the ground.
    • Bend your elbows and pull your chest up towards your hands.
    • Pause, then slowly lower your chest back to the starting position.
  9. Bent Leg Body Twist
    • Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs raised and bent at a 90-degree angle.
    • Place your hands on the floor by your sides.
    • Slowly lift your head off the floor while keeping your chin tucked.
    • Rotate your legs to the left side and hold.
    • Back to the middle and hold, then to the right side and hold.
    • Move them back to the middle and repeat.
  10. Push-up
    • Start by getting into the push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and your feet together.
    • Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor.
    • Keep your back straight and your head up.
    • Push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat.

2. 4 for the Core

4 for the Core involves four exercises to improve core and trunk muscles and to build a strong base for powerful movements.

Duration:

  • Limit the maximum amount of time performing each exercise to no more than 60 seconds.

Muscles Targeted:

  1. Abdomen
  2. Lower back
  3. Pelvis

Here are the exercises:

  1. Bent Leg Raise
    • Lie down on your back on the ground.
    • Bend your knees and place your feet flat under your butt.
    • Contract your abdominal muscles and curl your legs towards your stomach until they are at 90 degrees.
    • Then extend your legs, holding them a few inches above the ground.
  2. Side Bridge
    • Lie down on your side with your ankles crossed and legs straight.
    • Place your hand on the floor in front of you and press your elbow and shoulder into the floor.
    • Keep your hips and feet stacked on top of each other as you lift your torso off the ground.
    • Hold this position.
  3. Back Bridge
    • Lie down on your back on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat.
    • Place your hands flat on the floor beside you, with your fingers pointing toward your feet.
    • Push off the ground to bring your hips into a bridge position.
    • Extend your left leg into a straight line and hold.
    • Switch to the right on your instructor’s command.
  4. Quadraplex
    • Begin in a neutral dog stance.
    • Straighten the left leg back and opposing arm forward.
    • Return to the start position, then switch sides.

3. Conditioning Drill 1

Conditioning drill 1 includes five exercises to test physical conditioning!

Duration:

  • Each movement is performed to a moderate cadence for 5-10 reps.

Muscles Targeted:

  1. Leg Power
  2. Trunk
  3. Chest
  4. Shoulders
  5. Arms

Exercise Walkthrough:

  1. Power Jump
    • Assume a starting position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms bent at the elbows, hands-on-hips.
    • Squat down and touch the ground.
    • Jump as high as you can, extending your limbs as you jump.
    • Land softly on the balls of your feet and immediately touch the ground again.
    • Return to the starting position and repeat.
  2. V-up
    • Lie flat on your back on the floor with your limbs straight out.
    • Keeping your abs pulled in, curl your torso up towards your thighs as you exhale.
    • Press your palms into the ground to use as stabilizers.
    • Pause for a second before slowly lowering yourself back down, but keep your upper and lower body elevated above the ground and repeat.
  3. Mountain Climber
    • Get into a push-up position.
    • Drive your right knee forward in a running motion.
    • Switch sides and continue the motion.
  4. Leg Tuck and Twist
    • Lie on your butt on the floor and place your hands flat behind with your legs raised.
    • Use your abs to curl your legs towards your chest, then twist your hips to the right.
    • Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
  5. Single-leg Push-up
    • Get into a standard push-up position.
    • Lower yourself toward the floor, while lifting your left leg off the ground as you go.
    • Push yourself back up.
    • Repeat the motion, on the other side.

4. Conditioning Drill 2

Conditioning drill 2 consists of five exercises to test agility and conditioning.

Duration:

  • Exercises 1, 2, and 4 are performed at a slow cadence while 3 and 5 follow a moderate cadence.
  • Do each one for 5-10 reps.

Muscle Targeted:

  1. Body movement coordination
  2. Abdominals
  3. Trunk
  4. Lower Back
  5. Shoulders

Exercise Walkthrough:

  1. Turn and Lunge
    • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides.
    • Shift your weight to your left foot and lift your right foot off the ground.
    • Rotate your body to the right, and extend your right arm in front of you.
    • Lunge forward with your right leg, and keep your left leg straight.
    • Return to the starting position, and repeat on the other side.
  2. Supine Bicycle
    • Lie on your back on the floor and place your hands on top of your head.
    • Bend your knees and bring them in towards your chest.
    • Straighten your left leg out and pull your right knee towards your head.
    • Twist your upper body towards the right knee, then repeat with the opposite sides.
  3. Half-jack
    • Standing straight up and down, begin doing normal jumping jacks.
    • However, do not raise your arms higher than parallel to the ground.
  4. Swimmer
    • Lie flat on your stomach with toes pointed.
    • Begin by lifting your right arm and left leg off the ground and holding them up.
    • Then switch sides.
  5. 8-count Push-up
    • Standing straight up, get into a push-up position.
    • Complete two full reps, then stand back up.
    • Repeat.

5. Hip Stability Drill

Section 5 of the Army PRT exercises are the Hip Stability Drills, which consist of five total movements.

Duration:

  • Performed at a slow cadence for 5-10 reps, excluding the single-leg over, which is done for 30-60 seconds.

Muscles Targeted:

  • Hips
  • Lower Back
  • Upper Legs
  • Thighs

Exercise Walkthrough:

  1. Lateral Leg Raise
    • Lie on your side with your legs straight and your elbow resting on the ground.
    • Place your other hand on your hip.
    • Raise your top leg a few feet high, keeping it straight.
    • Repeat for reps.
    • Switch sides and repeat.
  2. Medial Leg Raise
    • Lay on your side, with the bottom leg straight and the top leg bent.
    • Keep your top hand on the stomach.
    • Lift the bottom leg off the ground as high as possible, then lower it down and repeat.
    • Switch sides and repeat.
  3. Bent Leg Lateral Raise
    • Lie on your side with feet together and knees bent back.
    • Raise your top knee, while keeping your feet together.
    • Lower it and repeat.
    • Then switch sides.
  4. Single-leg Tuck
    • Lie on your side with legs straight and the top foot elevated 6-8 inches.
    • Begin by bringing your top knee up towards your chest, then lower it and repeat.
    • Repeat on both sides.
  5. Single-leg Over
    • Start flat on your back with your head on the ground.
    • Stretch your right knee over your torso and grab it with the opposite arm.
    • Hold it and then switch.

6. Military Movement Drill 1

Military movement drill 1 has three exercises. These require additional activity space.

Duration:

  • Set up cones 25 meters apart and perform one full set down and back for each.

Muscles Targeted:

  • Legs
    • Endurance
    • Speed
    • Agility

Exercise Walkthrough:

  1. Verticals
    • During this drill maintain an upright position.
    • Take a staggered stance and begin a slow jog with high knees.
    • Keep the forward arm bent at about 90 degrees and the back arm straight.
  2. Laterals
    • Turn sideways and crouch into a wrestler’s stance.
    • Begin walking sideways while avoiding touching the feet together.
    • Once you get to the end of the cones, continue the laterals back.
  3. Shuttle Sprint
    • Assume a staggered stance.
    • Fast jog to the far cones and touch the ground when you reach them.
    • Jog back to the starting cones, touch the ground, then sprint back to the far end.
    • Do the same process to get back to the start point.

7. Military Movement Drill 2

Military movement drill 2 consists of three total exercises and requires the same amount of space as the previous drill.

Duration:

  • Set up cones 25 meters apart and perform one full set down and back for each.

Muscles Targeted:

  • Leg Strength
    • Balance
    • Coordination

Exercise Walkthrough:

  1. Power Skip
    • Assume a staggered stance.
    • Drive your knee up and reach into the sky with your opposing hand as you skip to the end cone.
    • Start slow, building up speed and height as you move.
  2. Crossovers
    • Turn sideways and crouch to a wrestler’s stance.
    • Slowly move to the far cones, crossing one leg over the other as you step sideways.
  3. Crouch Run
    • Start in a staggered stance crouch position and plant your hands on the ground.
    • Do 4 in-place mountain climbers.
    • Then crouch walk to the cones and touch the ground.
    • Do crouch walks back, touch the ground, and sprint to the end.

8. Recovery Drill

This is a playlist of videos that will play one after another.

The recovery drill is the final section of the Army PRT exercises. It has a total of eight activities.

Duration:

  • Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds on both sides of the body. Excluding the single-leg over which is held for 30-60 seconds on each side.

Muscles Targeted:

  1. Arms
  2. Shoulders
  3. Trunk
  4. Hip Flexors
  5. Abdominals
  6. Lower Back
  7. Hamstrings
  8. Calves
  9. Thighs

Exercise Walkthrough:

  1. Overhead Arm Pull
    • Stand straight up and secure the hips and abdominals.
    • Reach the right arm over your shoulder and touch the center of your upper back.
    • Grab the right elbow with your left hand and lean your body slightly to the left, while pulling the elbow.
  2. Rear Lunge
    • Stand straight up.
    • Extend your right leg back and firmly plant the foot.
    • Hold your hands to the sides.
  3. Extend and Flex
    • Assume a push-up position with your feet tight together.
    • Lean your lower body down to assume an upward dog position.
    • Return to the beginning point.
    • Then transition to a downward dog pose.
  4. Thigh Stretch
    • Sit on the ground with your legs extended.
    • Transition onto your side.
    • Pull the top leg backward with the same arm.
    • Touch your bottom foot to the top knee.
  5. Single-leg Over
    • Lay flat.
    • Lift your left leg up and over your torso.
    • Grab the knee with your right hand to emphasize the stretch.
  6. Groin Stretch
    • Start in the straddle stance.
    • Step far to the right with the right foot.
    • Maintain the side lunge position.
  7. Calf Stretch
    • Begin in the straddle stance.
    • Step 1-2 feet back with the left foot.
    • Bend both knees until you feel the stretch.
  8. Hamstring Stretch
    • Sit butt down on the floor.
    • Straighten the lower limbs.
    • Stretch to touch your toes or ankles with your hands.

What Is Army PRT and Why Is It Important?

Army PRT, or Physical Readiness Training, is a vital part of army life. It helps to keep soldiers in peak physical condition and can be critical in helping them to survive and succeed in combat.

There are a variety of army PRT exercises, and each one has a specific purpose. Some exercises may focus on building strength, while others may focus on increasing endurance or improving coordination. Whatever the focus, army PRT exercises are essential for keeping soldiers physically fit and ready for anything they may encounter in the field.

The APRT is a great way to get ready for the Army Physical Fitness Test and the Army Combat Fitness Test. Which is a requirement of basic training and for maintaining military rankings.

How Often Should You Assess Your Army PRT Levels?

How often you perform the Army PRT exercises depends on your goals. The optimal time to practice the training is at least 2-3 days per week, to see noticeable improvements.

No matter how you decide to set it up be sure to make it challenging so that you can develop and improve your physical abilities for combat and training.

Here is how you might set up your week to incorporate this type of training:

  • Monday: APRT workout
  • Tuesday: Rest or other training
  • Wednesday: APRT workout
  • Thursday: Rest or other training
  • Friday: APRT workout
  • Saturday: Rest or other training
  • Sunday: Full rest day

On other training, days try to find relevant workouts to put effort toward, that are also in line with your goals. Weight lifting, running, and swimming are some examples.

If you struggle to complete the entire APRT in one training session due to time or ability, consider splitting each section up into an entire training week.

For example:

  • Monday: Preparation Drill and 4 for the Core
  • Tuesday: Conditioning Drill 1 and 2
  • Wednesday: Hip Stability Drill
  • Thursday: Military Movement Drill 1 and 2
  • Friday: Recovery Drill
  • Saturday and Sunday: Rest or other training

Be sure to properly warm-up before any workout by doing low-intensity cardio and dynamic stretching to get your heart rate going.

Then after each workout always cool down with some dynamic and static stretches.

Try the APRT!

PRT is an essential part of soldier training because it helps to ensure that they are physically prepared for the demands of military service.

Whether you’re getting ready for basic training, the Army Physical Fitness Test, or just looking to stay in shape, the APRT is a terrific way to do it!

Eric Decremer
Eric Decremer

Eric is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and competes in the USPA Powerlifting Association. Feel free to contact him anytime at edecremer@wildnswole.com!

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