Hail to the Dinosaurs!
Yes, you read the title correctly.
Chicken legs can kill you.
And no, I'm not talking about the kind of
fast-food, deep-fried, batter-covered food
bombs that people eat. Those are bad, but
I'm talking about something else.
I'm talking about one of the leading causes
of death in the United States.
It's the slip and fall.
It happens to older people all the time. They
have a slip -- they fall -- and they break a leg
or a hip. Usually a hip.
That sends them to the hospital, and from there,
it's all-too-often a steady downward death spiral.
It used to happen to people of relatively advanced
years, but now it happens to people that many of
us would consider to be relatively young. Lots of
folks just five or ten years older than me have
had a slip and fall. And as I noted, it kills many
of them. If it doesn't kill them, it often leads to
a very low quality of life for the rest of their
And many folks my age or younger -- sometimes
much younger -- have had a slip and fall or a
similar accident that caused a severe knee or hip
injury -- that often leads to joint replacement
Sometimes, an accident is unavoidable -- just a
case of bad luck.
But many times, the problem is a lack of leg and
hip strength -- and poor balance. And that's not a
matter of bad luck. It's a matter of bad training --
or the result of no training -- or the result of no
Of course, that doesn't have to happen to you.
You can control your destiny. You can take action
and help make yourself injury-proof.
You do it by leg training.
The bigger and stronger your legs, the less risk
you have of a slip and fall. And if you do take a
tumble, strong legs and plenty of muscle may
help you avoid a serious injury.
As far as the details go, here are some key
points about effective leg training:
1. Strengthen your ankles.
Work your entire leg and hip structure,
including the ankles. Many slip and fall accidents
occur when someone loses their balance and their
foot twists at the ankle -- and their ankle isn't
strong enough to bear the strain -- and down
So include calf training in your workouts. Calf
exercises help strengthen the ankles.
To work the ankles even more, lie a barbell
plate on the floor and push it around with
sweeping movements of your foot. Train both
sides of the ankle when you do this. Left to
right, right to left, etc.
2. Train your toes and feet.
Try picking up marbles or pencils with your
toes. Strong toes help you maintain your
balance, and working the toes also helps
to strengthen the ankles.
Or try this. Soak a small towel in water,
lay it outside on the ground, and then try
to wring the water out of the towel by
picking the edge of the towel up between
your toes and squeezing the water out.
Work your way down the entire towel.
This is a variation of the old towel-wringing
exercise for grip training, and it will work
your toes and feet into the ground.
Another good exercise is one that Trudi
does. It's a 45 degree leg press with the
weight resting on her toes and the upper
part of her foot. She includes a toe press
on each rep. It's one of her favorite
exercises for strong toes and feet.
Trudi also uses Theraband exercises for
her toes, feet and ankles. You can find
many exercises on the interwebs. The
simplest movement is to sit in a chair,
loop the Theraband around your foot,
and hold the ends while you perform
toe presses or ankle rotations.
3. Do lugging and loading drills.
Including lugging and loading drills, where you
carry heavy weights. They work the feet and the
ankles on every step.
It doesn't matter what you do, how far you
go, or what you carry. Just be sure to walk
with heavy stuff as a regular part of your
I cover lugging and loading drills in Gray
Hair and Black Iron. Check them out:
4. Do some weightlifting.
If you can, do some weightlifting. You don't have
to do squat style lifts. Power cleans and power
snatches will work fine. Every rep includes ankle
extension to complete the lift -- and every time
you extend your ankles against weight resistance,
you make them bigger, stronger and thicker --
and more resistant to injury.
Weightlifting exercises also build better balance,
coordination and athleticism -- and help strengthen
your neurological system -- all of which helps you
avoid a bad slip and fall.
If you prefer, use dumbbells. For many trainees,
they are easier to master, and they provide all
of the benefits of barbell cleans and snatches.
See Dinosaur Dumbbell Training for details on
how to perform dumbbell cleans, swings, and
5. Do squats and front squats.
Squats and front squats are the best leg exercises
out there -- and they should always be part of your
If possible, do full squats. The greater the range
of motion, the better.
Use perfect form when you squat. Dropping and
bouncing, leaning forward, or rounding your back
can cause big problems -- and they all amount to
a form of cheating.
Wear Olympic lifting shoes when you squat. They
help you maintain the correct upright position --
which in turn places the work on your legs and
hips, which is where you want it to be.
You don't have to use World record weights in
your squats -- but you do need to do them on
a regular basis. See Dinosaur Training Secrets,
Vol. 2, the "How Strong Are You Course?" for
some key points on how much weight you
should be using in your leg exercises:
Note: It's also available in PDF format - see the
section on of Products Page where we list all
of our PDF products.
6. Include some auxiliary leg exercises for
improved balance and mobility.
Overhead squats with a barbell or a pair of
dumbbells build a nice combination of strength
and muscle, along with improved balance and
So does the one-arm overhead squat with a single
dumbbell or a kettlebell.
For other unique leg exercises, see Dinosaur
Dumbbell Training. The dumbbell complexes in
the book are particularly good for older trainees.
They will greatly improve your balance, your
coordination, and your mobility.
If you want to include some bodyweight exercises
for the legs and hips, try the movements featured
in Dinosaur Bodyweight Training. They're fast, fun
7. Get out the rope!
Start and finish each workout with some basic
rope-jumping. It's a terrific exercise for the feet
and ankles -- and a good way to build your balance
Invest in the kind of high-quality jump rope that
boxers use -- and include a couple of rounds of
rope work every day.
Jumping rope is also a good cardiovascular
exercise, and helps burn unwanted fat, so it's
got plenty of benefits.
To summarize, expand your concept of leg
training. Squats are the starting point, but it's
more than that. Train the feet and the ankles --
and do exercises that build balance, mobility,
And, of course, build the muscles of your legs
In short -- stay strong, train your legs and punch
those chicken legs right in the kisser!
As always, thanks for reading, and have a
great day. If you train today, make it a good
Yours in strength,
P.S. Gray Hair and Black Iron is the best book
ever written for older trainees -- and will help
enormously to make you injury-proof:
P.S. Go here to grab Dinosaur Dumbbell
Training and Dinosaur Bodyweight Training:
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Stand strong, walk
strong and live strong." -- Brooks Kubik