We are all athletes, and our field of play is the real world: So our training had better include strength training, because we do it every day. Don’t think so? Let’s take a look: Getting out of bed, getting off the toilet, getting off of your chair, and getting in and out of your car are variations of the ubiquitous squat. Lifting your kids or grand kids, hoisting a laundry basket, and lifting groceries out of your car are just three forms of dead lift.

Now let’s combine upper and lower extremity movements (which require tremendous core support). For example, you are sitting in a chair holding an infant under her armpits, facing each other. You stand up and press her overhead. She screams with delight. You have just performed a squat-press and are a functional rock star. Later in the day, you lift a box of tax receipts and place it in an overhead cabinet. That is a clean and press; now you are an Olympic functional rock star. If you cannot perform any of these movements without some form of assistance, including “cheating” with momentum, you are losing functional strength and should be taking measures to combat that loss. 58 march/april 2015..........

Andy Baxter is a Medical Exercise Specialist, world champion Master’s Rower, founder of Baxter Fitness For 50 and Beyond and the designer of SciFit’s new lateral trainer, the Side Step, which adheres to his philosophy of staying closed chain, compound, and bidirectional, while enhancing lateral strength and stability.

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