Skydiving Health and Fitness | Core Strengthening
Safety & Training | Oct 08, 2021
Skydiving Health and Fitness | Core Strengthening

Nancy Grieger

Brought to you by Dr. Nancy Grieger, DPT, of Blue Skies Physical Therapy at Skydive Elsinore in California. Video of each exercise is available at

The following exercises are useful for wingsuit flyers, as they strengthen the shoulders, arms and upper back. They work the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius, biceps and posterior delts.

Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. If you have any questions about the exercises contained in this article, consult with a local certified professional or contact Dr. Nancy Grieger at (702) 904-0178 or through her website,

Wide Standing Pulls/Rows

This exercise is a great way to strengthen and build endurance in your shoulders for back flying.

Start: Bend your knees slightly. Keep your core tight and focus on keeping your back muscles activated to avoid strain. Keep your feet in line with your shoulders and face forward with your body weight evenly distributed over both feet.

Action: Holding the end of a dumbbell, kettlebell or resistance band, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull up your elbows (shoulder internal rotation, shoulder abduction in a scapular plane). Focus on keeping your back straight, not rounded.

Perform 10 sets of 10 to build endurance in full range.

Wingsuit Horizontal Fly 

This exercise is great for arm and upper-back endurance.

Start: Connect the resistance band to a stationary object at shoulder height and stand facing 90 degrees from it. Grasp the loose end of the band with one hand.

Action: Pull band away from midline while pinching your shoulder blades together, down and back against your spine. Slowly return to starting position. Keep abdominals engaged and avoid rotating your upper back and spine.

Perform 10 sets of 10 on each side.

Wingsuit Scapular Fly

This exercise promotes an upright posture and improves balance.

Start: With your arms toward the midline and one end of the resistance band under a foot, grab the other end of the resistance band with your opposite arm. Keep your hips straight and core tight. Position your palms backward.

Action: Squeeze shoulder blades back and pull away from midline, then return to the starting position.

Perform 10 sets of 10 on each side.

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