This is my current mantra each time I work out. I lift/interval train 3 times per week (with the occassional hiatus due to crazy life circumstances). Each time I workout like this, my goal is to push something, pull something and squat. (now this isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it’s my overall goal) Why?
I find isolating individual muscles in lifting rather tedious. I’d have to do way more exercises to cover all the muscles of my body over the course of the week. Not to mention, I may find I favor one muscle over the other due to one being naturally stronger and another weaker. Causing me to excel in one with the temptation to not push another. Do you get my drift? Ever see those guys at the gym that favor their upper body in neglect of their lower body. (they look like Weeble Wobbles). I personally don’t think our bodies work like that. I don’t want to favor individual muscles. Since when do our bodies isolate muscles in real life? When you lift your kids, do you just use your biceps. No, you use a whole bunch of muscles. When you reach up on a high shelf for something, are you simply doing a calf exercise? No, you are using your body as a whole. That’s how I think exercise should go as well. Mimic what movements we do in real life. Simple as that.
The reason I want to push, pull, squat is because doing those three movements covers a large range of motion used in daily life. Pushing requires a lot of upper body strength along with core stabilization. Pulling too. I want to be able to push or pull my body weight also. There are times in life when we need to be able to pull our own weight, literally. I want to be strong enough to take care of myself or save my own life if need be. I want to know I can do it! That’s why I keep on pushing and pulling (with as much weight as I can). Squatting, especially with some weight, is a sure fire way to increase your lower body strength. You target all those larger muscles, and believe me you get STRONG by doing them. Translate that strength into every day life and you will marvel at what once used to be hard for you is now easy peasy.
I think moms should be regularly doing these moves to give them the ability to care for their little ones. I can now pick up my two younger boys and press them up in the air. They think I am super mom! It’s fun and also functional. How often do you find you need to carry or lift your kids? What about in an emergency? I can’t tell you the feeling you get by being a stronger mom, you will just have to trust me and see for yourself. Just 15 minutes a couple times a week, goes a long way!
For more on Pushing, Pulling & Squating, read these articles by one of my favorite fitness inspirations, Mark Sisson;
How about you? What are your favorite pushing, pulling and squatting exercises?