Shut up and squat!

Heavy Weights
I am forever seeing people go to the gym and use all of the fancy machinery thinking that because they have fancy names and cost a lot money that they are the best way to get in shape. How misguided they are. The machines will no doubt help you get in shape – I am not arguing against their use. However, there are better ways. Free weights can be a scary notion for people who have never used them before…what is I get stuck and I drop the weight? Just start off with a lower weight!

Large compound movements such as squats, cleans and deadlifts are possibly the best way to use resistance to get in shape. They incorporate more muscle groups than the machines that simply isolate certain movements. They also recruit the fabled stabilising muscles and are a far superior method for developing a more comprehensive strength. Finally, they use much more natural movements and contribute to much more effectively to a more overall ‘whole body’ fitness! Try doing a gym session where you only use the machines, and then do one where you only use free weights. I almost guarantee that you will feel like the free weights session was more productive. This is then amplified if you do compound movements instead of hyper specific isolation exercises. The compound movements will be the ones that get your heart rate up and get you sweating! So what do you think your body is trying to tell you here….

Sure, isolating a muscle group is a great way to train very specifically and build up a particular muscle. However, for those looking to get in better overall shape and healthier, you cannot be the good old squat.

Using free weights when doing large compoud movements require your muscles to work in tandem with each other – your core needs to be engaged to transfer power through your glutes and quads and down to your feet and this can only be a good thing! The benefits of free weights and compound movements should be fairly explanatory and is actually an extensive subject so I will not go into huge amounts of detail here. However, bear in mind that if you are a runner or cyclist then these types of movements will help you out significantly. They are great for improving strength and power, thus making your stride/stroke more efficient.

If anything it will help strengthen your core which will improve your posture. Look have a look at the articles on back pain…core stability will help tighten your core and help with posture.

More on this in later articles….


2 Responses to “Shut up and squat!”

  1. cheryl


    27. January 2013 um 23:51

    I lifted weights in the 70s for my running. Guess who won all the trail races in the area for women? ha!

  2. admin


    4. February 2013 um 11:18

    I hope it was you!

    Lifting weights will not necessarily mean that you will win, but it might give you that extra 3% power to kick up those hills….

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