News & Events

Squats and Deadlifts: good for your health!


Fitness on 25th

By Fred Dyck, YWCA Fitness on 25th Manager

I am a believer that fitness activities we pursue should have functional benefits for us. That’s the premise behind functional fitness. It’s also the idea behind sport specific training but that’s a topic for another day. Recently I had an article sent to me titled “Why Squats and Deadlifts Are Good for Your Health” by Kevin Cann.  You can read the article for yourself here:

Kevin Cann details his explanation of why these two basic movements are so important to your functional physical health. And what he means by “your” is everyone; all ages and abilities.

To summarize, Kevin outlines how gravity, is a constant force in your life. Our ability to counter its effects is important to our physical well-being. Specifically, Kevin references the negative effects of gravity (and time) on our posture. All of the chair sitting most of us do daily results in a rolling forward of our posture. Kevin outlines how our head comes forward, shoulders internally rotate, etc and we “tend to get very tight in the front of our bodies.” And, the chair we sit in stabilizes us in a way that makes it easy (too easy) on our bodies. Kevin’s solutions to this very common problem are squats and deadlifts. This is interesting food for thought; sqaut and deadlift for good posture. If you are interested, give the blog a read and come by the gym to tell me what you think.

One aspect of this I will agree with is basic movements like the squat and deadlift are really core exercises all physically able people should be able to do.  I use lifting the box-in-your-home example. We all have to lift something heavier than we are used to at some point in our lives. This happens frequently in fact; a bag of dog food, a box in your garage, furniture, etc. Bending down to lift the object is at its most basic a deadlift. Wee the picture of me from this past spring deadlifting a flower pot for example.

Do you have to get into the gym and put a couple of large 45 pound plates on the bar? Of course not!  A good place to start is the air squat. I regularly include air squats in my routines. No weight, just basic squats. For certain, I believe these two exercises are important moves. I encourage you to consider how to include in your workouts.

Note of interest: In 2008, I attended the Crossfit Level One Certification at Crossfit San Diego. I had the good fortune at that weekend event to have Robb Wolf as one of the presenters. To my knowledge, Robb is no long associated with the Crossfit program in the same way as he was at that time but I had a positive impression of him from this experience. Because of that experience, I have followed Robb’s online presence and like to read his posts and visit his web site. The source information for this article came from a blog post on Robb’s web site I don’t necessarily endorse any of what Robb says or promotes but find his topics interesting. Visit his site to learn more about what he has to say and what he promotes.