The movements of competitive strength sports are more widely applicable than many would believe. As the explosion of fitness has changed the way many people approach their daily lives. With many looking for activities to promote longevity, through feats of strength that have filtered into normal daily life. Through social media the benefits are becoming more and more apparent as the ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ bombard your individual streams and walls.
Lifts that will be discussed and shown practical world benefit over the next articles are as follows: Farmer carries, Atlas stones, Sled push/pull, Dead-lift, Squat, Clean and Jerk, and the Snatch. To enjoy the first 3 subjects go back to:
Benefits of Competitive Strength Sports and Injury Prevention. Vol 1
This article will speak to the practical application of the dead-lift and the squat. While both of these lifts are utilized in many strength programs they are most commonly performed in Power-lifting competition and Strongman when some novelty is added to them such as dead-lifting a sponsors product (be it major appliance or motor vehicle)
As previously stated this lift is most common in the sport of Power-lifting. The lift is performed most commonly with a barbell and various steel plates. However, many changes can be made to the lift just in means of equipment such as bar diameter, bar type and of course form of the weights. These changes allow for differing body types, training considerations, variability and injury modifications. Dead-lifting utilizes our powerful posterior chain with help from large back stabilizers and the vital trunk or core. Teaching of the dead-lift starts with the ‘hip hinge’; which focuses on movement of the hip; a ball and socket joint; instead of relying on the segmental motion of the low back and spine.
Application of this versatile lift has relevence in several different walks of life; such as construction or farming if these are your occupation or you enjoy the weekend to smash out chores and remodeling. Focusing on the lift’s motion is the prime part that makes it so applicable; again relying on the major movers of the hip joint and stabilizing with the large back muscles as opposed to switching the jobs of the former mentioned muscle groups. This allows for repetitive bending to occur and not take a toll on the user with yard work, construction, shopping, remodeling, etc. Commonly daily tasks can result in overuse, although with deployment of proper mechanical advantage those tasks do not have to harm or hinder the individual
Much of the application of the squat has similar arenas as the dead-lift along with the squat’s use of the ‘hip hinge’ being in the technique of getting low. Repetitive actions, sometimes simply bending at the hips to reach down is not enough. You must get to the level of the object that needs lifting or needs to be dealt with. In the case of an awkward object being lifted please refer to the previous article about atlas stone lifting. Back to repetitive or sustained actions. Instead of kneeling in the mud and dirt, squat down. This prevents dirty pants or knees along with utilization of joints and tissues that are designed for long duration activity. Now, Let’s talk about shitting. A very commonplace daily activity being able to stand up unaided from the commode is an underappreciated ability. Try to rise with the use of only your legs next time you pop a squat on the porcelain throne. When you take use of the toilet away and you are still sitting and rising many times per day. Being able to rely on large muscle groups to do the work takes away risk of utilizing smaller postural groups that are prone to injury when overused. Simply put; you use the muscles and joints with the best engine for the activities that happen all day long. While relying on smaller muscles for fine tuning or postural activities. Postural stabilization may result in large muscular development however the length of these fibers is normally very short.
While both of these movements have the benefit of adding weight to them to increase overall load applied to the body for increased muscular development simply implementing these movements throughout daily life is where the real power is displayed in them.
As always these movements each have specific techniques that aid in performing them for maximum benefit and one should consult with a coach who is familiar with them before dramatically increasing their weight lifted in each of these. One can get benefit from these movements as long as you appreciate your body awareness and gradually build tolerance to more weight or long time while under those weights.
Thank you for reading and wait for the next article to go over the Olympic lifts.