Monday, February 13, 2012

The Squat and Deadlift

"If you don't Squat, you're not training....."

The one thing I have missed since giving up a gym membership is the ability to train with weighted squats. An essential exercise it clearly works the whole body......"Every muscle works when you Squat: your legs move the weight, your abs & lower back stabilize it, your arms squeeze the bar, etc. The Squat is NOT just a leg exercise, it's a full body exercise."

I have been doing some squats using hand weights and whenever an opportunity arises using deadfall while trail running but it was inconsistent at best with less than challenging weight. As a result I have noticed a decrease in lower body strength this winter despite cycle commuting and playing ball hockey. I have incorporated sprinting and sprint intervals into my Spring/Summer/Fall training regimen but it is hard too do outside during the winter months.

So to remedy the situation I purchased a bar and a couple additional plates this past week. Ended up getting a sweet deal on a used bar and plates on Kijiji. Both the bars and plates were in like new condition and I ended up getting them for much less of the retail price. I remain in the market for additional plates, preferably 25 pounders but can begin squatting using the variety of smaller plates I currently possess. It won't completely replace a good gym quality bar, plates and, most importantly, a rack but will enable me to handle more weight than hand held dumbbells.

The bar purchase will also enable me to begin utilizing deadlifts to also help build lower body strength.I definitely find them much easier using a bar and am quite happy to now have the option of deadlifting in the basement. No excuses now.

"The deadlift is one of the most useful strength- and mass-building exercises, working multiple muscles in a functional movement. The deadlift develops your posterior chain: your glutes, hamstrings, mid-back muscles and adductor magnus, a posterior inner-thigh muscle...."

Both routines should compliment my cycling and ball hockey by developing additional leg strength, improved core and stronger lower back. Factor in a return to sprinting come Spring and I hope to head into the 2012 summer season in my best form to date. Work in progress!

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