After babies learn to stand and walk around, they begin “strength training” or merely testing their strength by trying to pick things up. Babies often spy out large objects like balls, watermelons, or boxes and test their ability to pick them up. They may pick it up, or not, they really don’t put a lot of emotional effort into it. But they try, and if they are successful, they may walk around with whatever it is they pick up. And this is one of the ways they get stronger.
Children practice picking things up and setting them down. And, they also practice carrying things around. I believe, if we follow a child’s example, this is a brilliant way to add strength, USEFUL strength to our bodies.
Think about it, having the ability to get down to the ground and pick something up, or having the ability to place something down on the ground safely is a very valuable skill. Being able to pick something up that is relatively heavy and walk around with it is not only a valuable skill, it is a total body strengthening movement – it is loaded gait training. Gait – the one movement we were truly made for.
Babies are masters at strengthening their movements and solidifying their entire bodies. And no matter how how smart we get as adults, we continually miss the wisdom of the simplicity of a child. Babies strengthen their squat, hinging and gait patterns. They are smart in how they add load to their bodies. They may attempt something too heavy, but then they stop. They don’t try until they hurt themselves. They test their strength a little here, then they test their strength a little there, and they grow stronger – patiently, day by day.
They test their strength a little here, then they test their strength a little there, and they grow stronger – patiently, day by day.
And that is exactly how we can add safe, super strength to our bodies. We can practice picking awkward, heavy things up, walking with them for a small distance and putting them down. If done patiently and consistently, we can add even more USEFUL strength to our foundation of original strength.
Train like a child. Twice a week, set aside 10 minutes, grab something of appreciable weight from the floor and walk around with it, then put it down and repeat. Play with different ways to carry whatever you are holding. Play with different things to hold. Allow your curiosity to lead you to new areas of strength, useful strength.
Pick things up, put things down, walk around with things. This is one way children build resilient bodies. It works for adults, too." -- Tim Anderson of Original Strength