You’d think with toting camera bags chock full of bodies, lenses, field drives, lighting equipment, filters, tripods, monopods, and batteries would be enough to give anyone a workout who carries it all day.  It is a lot of stuff to carry, and you can certainly accredit some cardio to this activity, but there’s other ways to work out as a photographer.  Today, I give you:

5 Photography Exercises

1.  Grab your biggest camera body and with nothing else attached, see how long you can hold it straight out in front of you unsupported.  5 minutes?  10?  If you can hit ten minutes, proceed to add attachments:  lenses, flashes, gobos, whatever.  Repeat for right and left arms and you’ll bulk up quickly!  Supposedly this will also increase your hand holding capabilities to slower shutter rates because the camera weight becomes less of a factor.

2.  Take an appropriately weighted camera setup (body, lens, flash, etc.) and do arm curls with it – get a paper towel and hold it by the lens, with the camera on one side, then switch and do reverse curls.  Your wrists will stay nice and strong for those long wedding shoots.  10-20 reps a day

3.  Stuff as much of your gear as you can into a duffel bag or pack.  Lie down on the floor and put the bag on top of your legs.  Now slowly lift your legs until your feet are about 6-10″ off the floor.  Leave in position for 30-45 seconds and rest.  Repeat for 10-20 reps per day to keep your abs in shape after those morning lattes before each sunrise shoot! (Damn you Starbucks! 🙂 )

4.  Take that same bag and zip-tie it to your tripod (or conversely, attach your tripod to it with Vel-cro straps as applicable).  Extend the tripod legs out and you have a weight you can raise and lower behind your back.  Repeat as desired to keep your back and shoulders prepared for those 2 mile photo walks that turn into 10 mile journeys!

5.  Buckle on that weighted-down backpack now and stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.  Place your hands on your legs and proceed to squat down until you are almost sitting on the floor.  (The “squat” part of squat-thrusts…)  This is great for legs and lower back exercises.

There you have it – five tips for a photo-centric workout.  As always, if you are concerned about your health, consult with a physician before starting any physical regimen.  I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one in the field.  I just know what works for me in staving off the results of those many Grande White Mochas!

Since you’re here, kick the tire on the new look and feel for the site.  The latest contest has a dedicated link up top.  The most popular menu items have been retained, a photo gallery has been added to the homepage.  The CB Store is also going to have a featured product (hint hint – something is coming really soon), so you can see the latest and greatest there easily as well.  Last but not least, I am also featuring some of the sponsors who have been so generous with their contributions over these past 2+ years (almost 3 now…).  Say thanks to them with me by stopping over and giving them your patronage – these are really good products and services too – everything from Adobe Photoshop (and Lightroom), to NAPP memberships, Red River Paper products, Lexar media cards, and much more…really too much to mention here.

Let me know your thoughts as we continue rolling forward. (The footer area still is in need of a little clean-up, but the majority is ready.)  Happy shooting, and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow – I suspect a pretty exciting podcast with an exciting software giveaway announcement is forthcoming, so stay tuned for that!

2 thoughts on “The Photographer’s Workout

  1. I’m curious if any other photographer has suffered from this as well — tennis elbow.

    In my pre-professional days I didn’t hold the camera correctly (left hand OVER the lens instead of UNDER it) and severely strained my elbow during my first 5 hour shoot — so much that I could barely raise the arm uring normal everyday movements for the next 2 days. Now it comes back to haunt me sporadically. Can anyone else relate?

    Tip: Learn to hold your gear and practice before you go pro!

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