Not Every Exercise Is The Perfect Fit

Born in 1870, Weston A. Price was a Canadian dentist who became increasingly disturbed by the escalating decline in dental health seen in his patients.

Convinced this negative spiral was linked to the burgeoning influence of the modern diet high in processed flours, sugars and vegetable oils (and thus low in nutrition) Price closed down his Cleveland-based practice and spent years traveling the globe visiting isolated populations in a quest to find evidence to support his suspicions.

In the Swiss Alps he found people living on a diet of rye bread, vegetables and dairy products. In the Outer Hebrides he found people living on a diet of oat cakes, seafood and vegetables. In the Arctic he found people living on a diet high in fat and protein derived from sea animals. In Polynesia he found people living on a diet of coconut, tubers, tropical fruit and fish. In the tribes of Eastern Africa he found people living on a diet high in starchy foods, wild animals and insects.

Despite the diversity of these eating patterns (there was no common ratio of macro-nutrients, no common balance between plant and animal calories and no single food present across all cultures) Price was struck by the robust health on display. The diseases so prevalent back home were almost completely absent in these cultures untouched by the modern food system.

Based on his findings it would appear there is no single diet we should all be eating. Our varying biochemistry means we can thrive on a whole range of eating patterns with the common thread being a focus on fresh, nutrient-dense food derived from good sources. Some will do well on more plant foods, other will do well on more animal foods, many will fall somewhere between these extremes.

In similar fashion not every exercise is the perfect fit for every human body.

We come in all shapes and sizes. Different limb lengths, different body ratios, different strength levels, different muscle fibre make-ups, different injury-histories, different joint structures. Just because an exercise works well for one person does not mean it will work well for everyone.

Take for example squatting. Not everyone will be able to sink down into a deep squat with their feet close together regardless of mobility levels. Our unique variations of hip joint health, limb length and pelvis structure ensure this is the case. Different bodies call for different squatting techniques.

Or look at ring dips. Some will claim it is the king of upper body exercises. Others will argue it hurts their shoulders.

Like thriving on a diverse range of diets, we can thrive on a diverse range of exercises. The key is to choose movements that strengthen our body, not weaken them further.