Strength and Conditioning Programs for Wildland Firefighters

The Hotshot Fitness Rehab Kit


Sometimes, we succumb to the temptation to do “just one more hill”, and we wake up the next morning feeling like a helo just unloaded a bambi bucket filled with lead on us.

When that’s how your morning starts, you need the right gear to get your body #FireReady. Here at Hotshot Fitness, we have been using the following three pieces of kit for years now, and they’ve saved our bacon on a number of occasions. Which is why we recommend anyone following our program to make the small investment in these recovery aids. They will help get you back out on the fireline, with less pain, faster. If you shop around, you should be able to pick up all three for around $50. Which is a small price to pay to be free of pain!

The Stick “A Toothbrush for muscles”. It’s compact enough for traveling, and you could easily throw this into a red bag, or the bag you carry with you on the crew haul. I was introduced to this lifesaver the morning of a ToughMudder race in Vermont, back in 2011. My friend was a prolific runner, with quite a few marathons behind him, and he swore by it. My hamstrings were still howling from an ill-advised hill workout a few days prior, and I needed something to calm my angry muscles. He handed me “The Stick”, and after a solid 45 seconds of rolling it under my legs, my hamstrings were smiling. I was sold. You can use “The Stick” before, after, or during a workout. I have actually seen an NFL player use this on the sideline during a game. You don’t need to go to aggressive with it – a little bit of pressure goes a long way. For $22, it’s definitely worth taking for a spin.


Kieba Lacrosse Balls Cheap. Lightweight. Portable. Can be wrapped in a sock for self-defense in case a curious bear wanders by your sleeping bag while you’re spiked out. And if you’ve got a lacrosse stick lying around, you can play some Lax too, bro! If you’ve not got a lacrosse stick then you can find the equipment that you’re looking for to get started over on the String King website. Seriously. these are handy to have around for massaging those hard to reach places that a foam roller or the stick can’t seem to reach. Simply set it on the ground, lay on it, and roll over it repeatedly until the bliss arrives. Also, after a long day in boots, it is an outstanding feeling to take off your dirty socks, and roll your weary feet over these lacrosse balls. When your dogs are barking, these balls will help shut them up! Hotshot Contributor Anthony Harrell had a nice piece on how to properly use these in his piece “Got Back Pain?” It’s definitely worth checking out.


High Density Foam Roller For years, I endured a nagging pain on the outside of my knee, which I ultimately concluded was the result of an inflamed IT Band. This magical little tendon runs from your shin to hip, and it can be a temperamental little bastard. I tried hot and cold therapy, stretching, patella knee straps – everything I could my hands on. But nothing gave me relief. Then, I interviewed Carrier Lucero, and she introduced me to the foam roller and I have been hooked on them ever sense. The foam roller was the first product that allowed me to massage my IT band, and it helped me run again with hardly any pain in my knee. It was a game changer. Since then, I have also used the foam roller to massage my hamstrings, quads, and back. It’s a great piece of gear that will literally melt away your pain. Not a bad investment.


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