Strength Exercises For Everyone
Five years ago, I made a New Years’ resolution to start weight training. My goal was to stave off the inevitable muscle and bone loss of aging.
I’m still at it. Even as my gym closed in March for the pandemic, I’ve kept it up with kettlebells in the basement.
I’ve come to believe that everyone should be doing some sort of weight training. Since I’ve started, longstanding lower back issues have disappeared. So has much of the fatigue I used to feel after a round.
Popular Science has an article on “Three Strength Exercises Everyone Should Do.” (link)
You may not want bulging biceps, but you probably do want to be able to lift your suitcase when you travel. And you may not care about setting a new squat record, but you’d probably like to get up from chairs without assistance in your old age. Both of those motions would be a lot easier—and less injury-prone—if you did some basic weight training. Some trainers like to call this “functional fitness,” meaning exercises in the gym that will translate to your everyday tasks. These sorts of workout routines are crucial to maintaining the muscles that will carry you into middle and old age.
The three recommended exercises are:
- Weighted carries — with weights in each hand, simply walk.
- Trap Bar Deadlifts — deadlifts with a trap bar, which is a hexagonal bar that surrounds the lifter and helps keep the body in line and prevent injury
- Squats – beginning with air squats and progressing to weighted squats
These will, among other things, “activate the glutes” (to borrow a phrase from Tiger), build core strength, and help maintain flexibility in the hips, knees and ankles.
Here’s a video on trap bar deadlifts. A trap bar will be my next exercise purchase.