I usually have a chuckle when I tell people that deadlifting for the first time is going to give them an extra long nap or a great night of sleep, and the next day I hear that it actually happened. Today, it turns out that the same things can happen to me. I focused on the Good Morning this afternoon, and after some split squats, TRX leg curls and Prowler pushing, I’ve been wiped out. It’s not a lift I do frequently, and I definitely suck at it. I’ll be adding that to my ‘to-do’ list!
It’s been a while since I’ve discussed anything that’s related to powerlifting or traditional strength training, and I’ve tried to touch on more ‘functional’ training and healthy living in recent posts. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about barbells, and I still think that the ‘big’ lifts are some of the most functional exercises that you can do. When it comes to training the lower body, squats and deadlifts are two of the most functional exercises you can do, and they should be a regular part of your training program.
Just like anything in life, there’s a massive difference between doing it the right way and the wrong way. Splitting my training time between a commercial gym and a college fitness center, I see my fair share of bad squats and deadlifts, and it’s not wonder that people a) Think they don’t work, and b) Think they’re dangerous. When you’re treating your spine like a slinky, something’s bound to go wrong.
If you’re going to do it, do it the right way.
It’s not rocket science, but most people need to take the time to practice these movements before they load up the 45’s and think that they can squat. Hell, I don’t even think I can squat, and I try to practice various squat movements as frequently as I can, so I can train myself and demonstrate appropriately to clients. As it turns out, the folks over at EliteFTS (aka Dave Tate) just posted two videos on their YouTube page to demonstrate proper technique, cuing, and execution of these two lower body staples. If you’re not squatting and deadlifting in some form or another, I think you’re missing out. You should be doing them, and you should get the most out of each exercise. Take the time to watch these two videos, and then head to the gym with a friend or trainer (preferably a trainer) so you can get feedback on your technique. Push your hips back, arch your back, and move some weight.
I tried to keep this one short and simple; I want you to watch the videos. While Dave talks about these exercises and their application to powerlifting, they’re basic patterns that can find a place in almost every training program. You might not have dreams of squatting a thousand pounds, or having massive quads and hamstrings, but I’m sure that everybody wants to move a little better, look a little better, and have buns that your friends envy.