When I clicked on Freakonomics Podcast titled, “What is the ‘Best’ Exercise?” I thought it was going to be about Crossfit... until I heard them factoring in price. I finished listening even though the episode was probably aimed at people who, if not for hearing the podcast, would just let their muscles atrophy.
They did talk about one thing that caught my attention – and that’s the 'single best movement' for health and longevity: the squat. From Gretchen Reynolds (of the NYT Well Blog):
“The squat will use the biggest muscles in your body, those in your upper legs, your back, your core…the muscles you need to do things like get up off of a chair… as you age, one of the best indicators of whether you will be independent well into your twilight years is if you can get up out of a chair.”
(I think “chair” is code for “toilet.”)
Four years ago in NYC, my first Crossfit experience involved Tabata Squats… and then spending the next 4 days pulling myself up a pole to get off the subway seats. The soreness from squats can make us look like we work at the Ministry of Silly Walks, but strength training now will only help us as we age. So let's all squat heavy and temporarily look ridiculous.