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Training for the ACFT: 5 Quick and Effective Tips to Get Your Leg Tucks on Track

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

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The Army Combat Fitness Test has some new demands. One of the events that may be the most unfamiliar to participants is the Leg Tuck (LTK). The primary demands of the LTK are: upper body pulling strength, trunk strength and stability, and grip strength. This is a far different event than the APFT Sit-Up, and it demands far more from your body than just torching the hip flexors. Here are 5 tips to step up your LTK game.

  • Practice the alternating grip pull-up. Starting the LTK with a one-quarter pull-up is not a requirement, but Soldiers that expect to bang out enough reps to max this test will begin each repetition of the LTK with at least a one-quarter pull-up. This event is part trunk flexion and part upper-body pull, so you’ve got to practice and progress in each component of the event.

  • Learn to love the evil wheel. Simple, yet sinister, the evil wheel closely mimics the trunk flexion you’ll need to complete the LTK. Added bonus: the negative work on the extension will also build your upper-back and shoulders and improve your pulling ability. The evil wheel is compact, portable, and can help you get better at the LTK even when you don’t have a pull-up bar accessible.

  • Practice your Isometric Holds. This event is part pulling with the back and arms, part trunk flexion, and part trunk stability. You can train trunk stability anywhere, anytime with isometric holds. Make the dead bug and the pillar hold with alternating hand reach a staple in your training plan.

  • Grip strength matters. This may be the biggest difference between the LTK and the APFT Sit-Up. Even big-bodies can crush the sit-up if they practice enough sit-ups, but the LTK will punish Soldiers with less than favorable strength to body-weight ratios. Forget lightweight forearm curls and isolation exercises -- the best way to improve your grip is to hold something heavy. Deadlift, farmer’s carry, and even loaded isometric hangs from the pull-up bar will rapidly improve your grip strength.

  • Rope Climbs. The rope climb brings it all together. Climbing the rope requires grip strength, pulling strength, trunk strength, and coordination. Ever wonder what the functional application of the sit-up is? Nothing. Ever wonder what the functional application of the LTK is? Climbing ropes and other obstacles. Practice climbing the rope, improve your grip strength, and be a more fit tactical athlete.

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Know the difference between training for power and training for muscular strength? How do you push your anaerobic threshold higher so you can work harder for longer periods of time? How much recovery is required during and after a workout to maximize your gains? can help you learn the training principles you'll need to dominate the ACFT.

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Anny Key
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