Grass Drills @ Anthill

Posted on Posted in Backblasts
  • When: 01/02/18
  • QIC: Twister

10 maniacs posted in 32° weather for a morning refamiliarizing ourselves with the ground. grass drills

1) Warm up

  • side straddle hop – 20ct
  • Don Quixotes – 20ct
  • baby arm circles – 20ct fwd 20ct bkwd OYO
  • man arm circles – 20ct fwd 20ct bkwd OYO
  • imperial walkers – 20ct
  • hillbilly – 20ct

2) 2-Man Teams, alternate exercise: Run

  • 200 merkins, team plank until all finished
  • 100 iron mikes, team plank until all finished
  • 50 v-ups, team plank until all finished
  • 50 burpees, team plank until all finished

3) 3-Man Teams 

  • Merkins (form triangle w/feet on shoulders of teammate; only hands touching ground, rest of body suspended) – 10ct OYO, team plank until all complete
  • Big Boy Sit-ups, arm-in-arm – 20ct OYO as team

4) Grass Drills 

(see more detailed description at bottom)

  • Familiarize with commands: “GO!” “Front” “Back” “Stop”
  • Always face Q
  • These were implemented sporadically, with variations of each second command

Go = Run in place (20-30 seconds)

  • high knee variation
  • “butt kicker” variation (kick butt with heels)

Front = plank, ready for follow-on command

  • “roll left” or “roll right” (there were a ton of these sprinkled in throughout…providing a nice coat of dirt/grass)
  • Merkins x10 OYO, plank until next command (this was revisited a number of times with wide-arm and diamond variations)
  • Carolina Dry Docks x10 OYO, plank until next command

Back = laying flat on six feet elevated at 6″, ready for follow-on command

  • “roll left” or “roll right” (there were a ton of these sprinkled in throughout…providing a nice coat of dirt/grass)
  • Dying Cockroach (toe touches) 10ct OYO then Dead Cockroach (arms+feet straight up) until next command
  • Flutter kick 10ct, one leg, OYO then feet at 6inch until next command
  • WW1 Sit-Ups 10ct OYO then feet at 6inch until next command

Stop = 3pt stance, ready for follow-on command

  • Side Straddle Hop 4ct x10
  • Jumping Iron Mike 4ct x10
  • Bear Crawl across field to cones then 3pt stance
  • Spider-Man Crawl across field to cones then 3pt stance
  • Army Low Crawl across field to cones then 3pt stance

At some point, I started winging it and throwing in multiples of these variations. Much time was spent rolling left and right and flipping forward and backward from “Front” to “Back.”

It was fun.

Next time I’ll include the “forward roll.”

Grass Drills (from FM 21-20 #OldArmyPTBook) Grass drills are exercise movements that feature rapid changes in body position. These are vigorous drills which, when properly done, exercise all the major muscle groups. Soldiers should respond to commands as fast as possible and do all movements at top speed. They continue to do multiple repetitions of each exercise until the next command is given. No cadence is counted.

Performing grass drills can improve CR endurance, help develop muscular endurance and strength, and speed up reaction time. Since these drills are extremely strenuous, they should last for short periods (30 to 45 seconds per exercise). The two drills described here each have four exercises. Leaders can develop additional drills locally.

The soldiers should do a warm-up before performing the drills and do a cool-down afterward. The instructor does all the activities so that he can gauge the intensity of the session. The commands for grass drills are given in rapid succession without the usual preparatory commands. To prevent confusion, commands are given sharply to distinguish them from comments or words of encouragement.

As soon as the soldiers are familiar with the drill, they do all the exercises as vigorously and rapidly as possible, and they do each exercise until the next command is given. Anything less than a top-speed performance decreases the effectiveness of the drills.

Once the drills start, soldiers do not have to resume the position of attention. The instructor uses the command “Up” to halt the drill for instructions or rest. At this command, soldiers assume a relaxed, standing position.

Soldiers should do a warm-up before performing grass drills and do a cool-down afterward.

Grass drills can be done in a short time. For example, they may be used when only a few minutes are available for exercise or when combined with another activity. Sometimes, if time is limited, they are a good substitute for running.

Most movements are done in place. The extended-rectangular formation is best for a platoon- or company-sized unit. The circle formation is more suitable for squad- or section-sized groups.

When soldiers are starting an exercise program, a 10- to 15-minute workout may be appropriate. Progression is made by a gradual increase in the time devoted to the drills. As the fitness of the soldiers improves, the times should be gradually lengthened to 20 minutes. The second drill is harder than the first. Therefore, as soldiers progress in the first drill, the instructor should introduce the second. If he sees that the drill needs to be longer, he can repeat the exercises or combine the two drills.

Progression with grass drills is made by a gradual increase in the time devoted to the drills.

STARTING POSITIONS After the warm-up, bring the soldiers to a position of ATTENTION. The drills begin with the command GO. Other basic commands are FRONT, BACK, and STOP. (See Figure 7-5 for the positions and actions associated with these commands.)

  • ATTENTION: The position of attention is described in FM 22-5, Drill and Ceremonies.
  • GO: This involves running in place at top speed on the balls of the feet. The soldier raises his knees high, pumps his arms, and bends forward slightly at the waist.
  • FRONT: The soldier lies prone with elbows bent and palms directly under the shoulders as in the down position of the push up. The legs are straight and together with the head toward the instructor.
  • BACK: The soldier lies flat on his back with his arms extended along his sides and his palms facing down ward. His legs are straight and together; his feet face the instructor.
  • STOP: The soldier assumes the stance of a football lineman with feet spread and staggered. His left arm is across his left thigh; his right arm is straight. His knuckles are on the ground; his head is up, and his back is roughly parallel to the ground.

To assume the FRONT or BACK position from the standing GO or STOP positions, the soldier changes positions vigorously and rapidly. (See Figure 7-5.)

To change from the FRONT to the BACK position (Figure 7-5), the soldier does the following:

  • Takes several short steps to the right or left.
  • Lifts his arm on the side toward which his feet move.
  • Thrusts his legs vigorously to the front.

To change from the BACK to the FRONT position, the soldier sits up quickly. He places both hands on the ground to the right or left of his legs. He takes several short steps to the rear on the side opposite his hands. When his feet are opposite his hands, he thrusts his legs vigorously to the rear and lowers his body to the ground. (See Figure 7-5.)

GRASS DRILL ONEExercises for grass drill one are described below and shown in Figure 7-6.

Bouncing BallFrom the FRONT position, push up and support the body on the hands (shoulder-width apart) and feet. Keep the back and legs generally in line and the knees straight. Bounce up and down in a series of short, simultaneous, upward springs from the hands, hips, and feet.

Supine BicycleFrom the BACK position, flex the hips and knees. Place the palms directly on top of the head, and interlace the fingers. Bring the knee of one leg upward toward the chest. At the same time, curl the trunk and head upward while touching the opposite elbow to the elevated knee. Repeat with the other leg and elbow. Continue these movements as opposite legs and arms take turns.

Knee BenderFrom the position of ATTENTION, do half-knee bends with the feet in line and the hands at the sides. Make sure the knees do not bend to an angle less than 90 degrees.

Roll Left and RightFrom the FRONT position, continue to roll in the direction commanded until another command is given. Then, return to the FRONT position.

GRASS DRILL TWOExercises for grass drill two are described below and shown in Figure 7-6.

The SwimmerFrom the FRONT position, extend the arms forward. Move the right arm and left leg up and down; then, move the left arm and right leg up and down. Continue in an alternating manner.

Bounce and Clap HandsThe procedure is almost the same as for the bouncing ball in grass drill one. However, while in the air, clap the hands. This action requires a more vigorous bounce or spring. The push-up may be substituted for this exercise.

Leg SpreaderFrom the BACK position, raise the legs until the heels are no higher than six inches off the ground. Spread the legs apart as far as possible, then put them back together. Keep the head off the ground. Throughout, place the hands under the upper part of the buttocks, and slightly bend the knees to ease pressure on the lower back. Open and close the legs as fast as possible. The curl-up may be substituted for this exercise.

Forward RollFrom the STOP position, place both hands on the ground, tuck the head, and roll forward. Keep the head tucked while rolling.

Stationary RunFrom the position of ATTENTION, start running in place at the GO command by lifting the left foot first. Follow the instructor as he counts two repetitions of cadence. For example, “One, two, three, four; one, two, three, four.” The instructor then gives informal commands such as the following: “Follow me,” “Run on the toes and balls of your feet,” “Speed it up,” “Increase to a sprint, raise your knees high, lean forward at your waist, and pump your arms vigorously,” and “Slow it down.”

To halt the exercise, the instructor counts two repetitions of cadence as the left foot strikes the ground: “One, two, three, four, one, two, three, HALT.”

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