How to get fit for indoor skydiving progression

24 August 2017

Written by: Allen Sparks: Instructor - iFLY, San Diego

Want to get really progress your indoor skydiving skills and move effortlessly through the Wings ratings? You need to get fit for the sport. Allen Sparks from iFLY San Diego explains how.

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.

Solution: To be able to pull off advanced tricks, Sparks works his core every day. He recommends planks.

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.

Solution: My fellow instructor Nick Riedel and I both practice yoga. Positions like child's pose stretch the shoulders, and a nice cobra pose will loosen up the back and hips.

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.

Solution: You can replicate resistance training using TRX bands.

5. Test your fitness before you get in the tunnel
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"