Fitness Tips from Fitness 2J2: Lifting and leading
- Joel Pedersen | May 17, 2016
This month we are sending shout outs to the crew from Saskatoon who completed their Aboriginal Fitness Preparatory Leader Program, and have gone on to complete their SPRA Fitness Leadership Certification. This was one of the ideas I had been discussing over the last few years with whoever would listen to me, that there is not enough First Nation and Metis Fitness Leaders in Saskatoon or the province. I wanted to set people up for success to prepare them for the process of becoming an instructor and offer them an opportunity to give back to our community. With the support of the University of Saskatchewan and City of Saskatoon, we accomplished this vision.
The process is challenging, it takes passion and commitment to study and to learn; to pass written exams and to get up in front of people and instruct. The art of leadership is the ability influencing human behavior so as to accomplish a mission or a goal in the manner desired by the leader. I experienced this through many years in policing and in the military; it is applicable to everyday activities and a principal I try to have our leaders understand.
Shout out’s to: Whitecap Dakota First Nation, for inviting us back again for a ten-week Functional Fitness Bootcamp. St.Mary’s School in Pleasant Hill community: the Askiy Run Club learn to run 5km program; Self-Defence/Awareness for women and youth; learn to do a Tri-Athlon (swim, bike, run) for youth.
This week at St.Mary’s Bootcamp we talked about Functional Fitness movements, one being the Olympic lift called the deadlift. We practice this often with a PVC stick or a hockey stick, in order to have proper body alignment. So here it is team, we pick things up all day long, and have for as far back as buckskin and beaver hats were in fashion. Any time you pick something off the ground you are deadlifting, it doesn’t mean it’s done well. You hear people say you should lift with your legs and not your back? Well that’s true, except there are a few more cues to add.
For solid cues here are some to try out, think of the base of a Tipi it is wide and strong:
- Place your feet under the bar, up against your shins.
- Feet should be shoulder width or slightly wider.
- Slight bend in the knees, lower your butt, slight lumbar arch.
- Grab the bar with your hands just outside your legs.
- Even grip, elbows locked facing each other, shoulders back and down, Lats and triceps contracted.
- Chest up an inflated, abs tight.
- Head straight or neutral spine.
- Lift by grounding your heels and spreading the floor, bar stays close to legs straight up and down.
- Shoulders and hips rise at the same rate when bar is below the knee, continues to drive your legs down and push your hips forward until you finish tall.
So if your goal is to build strength or decrease body fat, lean body mass, rehab your back, improve your athletic performance, maintain functional independence as a senior. Then the deadlift should be one of your exercises you add to your toolbox. Benchmarks would include your bodyweight, work your way up. Once you have reached a max load safely start to increase. Practice your lifting technique for everyday use, and protect your body from unnecessary injury.
Fitness 2J2 is a socially responsible community based health and wellness company. Contributing to the success and vitality of our communities, promoting healthy and positive lifestyles for Aboriginal people of all ages and abilities. STRONG HEALTHY PROUD.
Check out some previous Fitness 2J2 columns:
- Fitness Tips from Fitness 2J2: Journey from Cancer treatment to Healthy Lifestyle with 2J2
- Fitness Tips from Fitness 2J2: Dealing with muscle soreness
- Fitness Tips from Fitness 2J2: Balance to achieving physical fitness