“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Barbell”

“Walk Softly and Carry a Big Barbell”
12 Sep

Did you know..?

Teddy Roosevelt was a weak, frail, and asthmatic as a boy? It was Teddy’s father’s idea to “build his body” and built exercise equipment and forced young Teddy to run through town while having asthma attacks to theoretically force air into his lungs. 


This was probably extremely painful and grueling, however Teddy eventually grew up to be a strong, adventurous man, known for his daring extreme adventures. As president his foreign policy was summed up by his quote. “Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.”


What he meant was to be diplomatic but have strength in case things go wrong. I think this advice could serve us well through daily physical activities. My modification of Teddy’s philosophy illustrates my point. To walk softly takes control and poise. Not flopping around like a sack of potatoes. 



Your body is designed to work together as a whole not as individual muscles. To walk softly uses much more strength and motor control than to just let your limbs flop and stomp around. And to carry or lift a heavy barbell you need even more strength and control.


A good trainer will use cues like “screw your feet in, spread the floor, and break the bar,” to coach you to keep tension and control while lifting safely. This advice works in any activity not just lifting heavy. 


Take standing for example…

Instead of letting your shoulders roll forward, your belly stick out and sag, and locking your knees. Try rolling your shoulders back tucking your chin in, and belly and engaging your hips by slightly screwing your feet into the floor. 


Give it a try or ask a trainer to help you with your form and posture. So remember when lifting, walking, standing, whatever you do. Walk softly and carry a big barbell!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *