Clean a thing. #PlayInMay

This weekend’s #PlayInMay topic is to CLEAN something. Or clean a thing. Or something like that.
“If you like my clean, you should see my snatch.”
“If you like to watch me clean, you should watch me jerk.”
yes, yes. “things heard in a gym that sound dirty but aren’t.” fun just the same, and keeps my inner 11 year old happy.
I’ve never had any formal weight lifting training, and the realm of Olympic weight lifting escapes me. It is fun to watch, for a while, but then….not so much. While the amount of weight that these athletes can move is impressive, I just don’t….get it. Great! You can bench press a VW Beetle. You can dead lift a Taurus. You can clean and jerk a SmartCar. Unless those things are on top of me or a loved one…
My focus (at least in theory, not so much in actual PRACTICE lately) is functional fitness. What does that mean? For me it means actions like squats, overhead presses, pushups, running, pushing and pulling exercises, using stairs as part of a workout, ropes, tires, and back-to-jr-high calisthetics. Don’t think that squats are a functional exercise? Spend an hour in a nursing home helping to get people into and out of chairs. Squat while you can now, so that you’ll be able to when others can’t.
Pushups not ‘functional’? Next time you look for the remote under the couch…how do you get up? Do you have to roll over onto your side first or ask for help? Start adding pushups to your day. Even if you have to start from your knees. Keep doing them, and soon you will be on your toes.
Pushing and pulling? You bet. How are you gonna lug your suitcase around after you retire if you can’t do it now? Socks fall behind the clothes dryer again? Pull it out and go get it (i DON’T endorse this, however, if you do your laundry at a public laundromat. The owners don’t take kindly to it….).
If you are already into lifting and moving heavy things, that’s great! Keep it up, but how about adding some functional exercises into your mix?
If you are just getting started, try not to fall into the trap of just Oly moves. Sure, it looks cool to clean (i don’t even know what that looks like) a crapton of weight, but….will it help you carry your grand kids? Probably not.
To learn a little more about functional fitness, check out these sites:
Mayo Clinic
Men’s Fitness
She Knows

note: inclusion of the links above does NOT constitute an endorsement of those sites by BigZigFitness.

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