BECAUSE INDOOR SKYDIVING tests your mobility, balance, body awareness, coordination, and symmetry, it’s a great way to gauge your athletic training. (And, of course, have an absurdly good time.)
1. Fix small mistakes before they become huge problems.
Improper lifting form may take weeks to notice. But in skydiving, mistakes as minor as lifting your chin or curling your feet can instantly throw your body off its positioning.
Solution: As with lifting, prioritize form over weight, which will encourage correct movement patterns.
2. Tighten up so you don’t get blown all over the place.
Some moves, like sitting down while flying, seem easy. In reality, though, they’re brutally tough because your body needs to stabilize itself.
3. Make sure you have the mobility to spread your wings
Flyers who can’t extend their arms fully overhead or who can’t lift their chest while keeping their hips down have a harder time flying. Unsurprisingly, they’ll also have a tougher time staying active and injury-free in the gym.
4. Be ready for bodyweight resistance
Less experienced skydivers, who tend to stay tense throughout the flight, can burn up to 400 calories during just four minutes of flying. (After my eight minutes in the tunnel, my shoulders were blasted.)
Solution: You can replicate resistance training using TRX bands. Here are five of the toughest TRX exercises for a total-body workout
5. Test your fitness before you get in the tunnel
Want to see if you’re as fit as Sparks and Riedel? All indoor skydiving instructors must pass the following fitness test:
1. 8 pullups or chinups
2. 20 pushup-burpees with a tuck jump in 1 minute
3. Pass level 10 on the 20-meter multistage fitness test, commonly known as the “beep test”