Moving heavy things would have been a must for our ancestors. Lifting rocks, logs, the kill from the hunt and even each other would be an almost everyday activity. Things could be lifted in different ways with the size and shape of the object determining which method would be used. Most daily tasks in the current world focus on working on a computer or sitting which forces our lifiting muscles to relax. This can cause movement impairments like upper cross syndrome with rounded shoulders and forward head and lower crossed syndrome in which our hip flexors shorten and cause low back pain. Lifting an object off the floor can counteract the seated position and develop the posterior chain of the body including the Hamstrings, back extensors, Glutes, Lats and should retractors. When these muscles are developed, they can lead to improved posture and reduced low back pain.
Heavy lifting not only promotes proper posture, but this multi joint, full body exercise has been proven to optimize hormone release which leads to fat loss and muscle gain. Below are exercises that most definitely should be included in your workout/Paleo Training program.
The deadlift is my go to exercise for the office dweller. Only a few heavy repetitions can offset a whole day’s worth of sitting. Yes, our ancestors did not have barbells and weight plates, but the ability to keep an object as close to the body as possible while lifting reduces the risk of injury, therefore safety wins. After a proper warm up, including movement preparation and activation of the core muscles, get into a squat position and wrap your hands around the barbell. Maintain a straight back while equally extending the spine with the hips and knees.
Single Arm Deadlift:
By choosing the single arm deadlift you are engaging a lot more of the lateral core stabilizers such as the Internal and External Obliques, Quadratus Lumborum and Multifidus. You can choose a Kettle Bell, Dumbbell or any other item that has a handle. Make sure you do even reps on both sides.
If you are looking to get more primal and lift other objects check out the videos below:
Posted by Eddie Lester