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Abdul Rahman Jamous

What exercises do I need to do to become a camera operator?

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Well, you guys know how the craft consumes our time and you know how going to gym for us is a luxury that we simply cannot offer. I do push ups and squats at home, yes I see some progress but I still lack the physical strength that would allow me to operate cameras. so what do you guys recommend to do?? should I start actually practicing operating cameras while I'm in the studio during the days when I have no shootings? do you recommend me to do more exercises or do you think that I should be doing what I'm doing but give it some more time?

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Yoga probably makes sense - because often your forced to hold uncomfortable positions and be still. I think camera operating is less about pure strength, but more about having stamina and flexibility.

Equipment is getting less heavy, but if your operating on a longer shot it can still get painful. There's nothing worse than starting a shot in the wrong position and being forced to hold it while you start to cramp. Narrative film isn't too bad from an operating pov because takes typically only last a few minutes and your going to have breaks for rehearsal etc.. But multicam live TV (particularly sports or shopping) can put you in a world of pain if your not prepared for it. If your covering golf or cricket you may have to be offering usable shots for hours at a time. So if you are looking for that kind of work building stamina and fitness is super important  

Yoga also helps you stretch and recover. Bad technique with camera operating can risk back problems, so anything that builds your core strength. 

Running is also good.

You can also experiment with yoga by using online exercise videos and skip the expensive gym membership.  

Other things with shoots, if you not used to it you can get tired from standing 10-12 hours a day. So when I'm doing office work, I try to use a standing desk so I keep my stamina up for shoots.  

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Buy some resistance bands and find some exercises online. I'm not an operator but I have been told by on set medics that they recommend these to operators (and all crew who are lifting/moving heavy objects) as a key to working out/stretching your muscles. 

Of course stretching is vital. This guy has a great video on basic stretching.

I have to do a lot of the above because I dislocated my shoulder when I was younger and its caused problems ever since. I'm still no expert on the matter but I'd highly recommend what I have suggested.

Hope some of that is useful!


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a DP I know has also recommended me to do yoga, at first this recommendation didn't make that sense to me, but now I will highly consider doing yoga. 

also using resistance bands seems very useful for me. 


Thank you guys for these tips! 

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You need to cover the waterfront OP. Yoga...aerobics...weights...sleep...good diet.

(everything I need to do myself!)


Good luck!

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I do Yoga 2 days a week and Crossfit 4 or 5 times a week. 
And when I'm on holidays or off I surf and paddleboard. 

Your usual Crossfit class or Yoga class is 1 hour and everybody has 1 hour to spare in their lives, and when you are experienced enough you can just do the workouts, which are, typically from 15 to 30 minutes. 

I stretch for 10 minutes before I start a shooting day and if I'm shooting in a place where I don't have a gym to go to and is in the middle of nowhere I do a small workout routine which is: 

50-40-30-20-10 (descending)

Double unders

Sit ups



And I finish with a 2 minutes plank or a small 10 minutes Yoga video from youtube.

I believe that camera operating is all about your core strength, flexibility and a good back! Specially if you do a lot of hand-held.
Also, from time to time it is good to go to a physiotherapist.. and on top of that having a good balanced diet and being fit helps! 😉 

Have a lovely day.


Edited by Miguel Angel
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One of the best camera operators I ever worked with was a five foot tall woman who probably weighed 100 pounds with her biggest boots on, so I'm not sure it's that much to do with raw strength.

I am 6'3" (1.9m) and have a BMI around 22, which is quite tall and quite slim without being an exceptional example of either, and I am constantly embarrassed by the fact that if I started eating more protein and spent half an hour a day running, I'd probably be able to improve my cardiovascular fitness quite easily. Possibly one day I will rue the fact that I haven't done that, but I'm not sure it's really that important for camerawork unless you're dealing with Alexa LF all day, and now I'm basically a writer that doesn't seem to be very likely.

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8 hours ago, Simon Wyss said:


Interesting enough, this is a famous, historic photo of a 1st AC! 😂

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