So long as we’re on the subject of squats, let’s continue today with a dithyramb* to the single greatest exercise of them all: the (heavy) overhead squat**.

* Dithyrambs were rowdy, often lewd songs sung by groups of banqueters – mostly drunk, who may or may not have been dressed as satyrs – in honor of Dionysus. As a literary form, the dithyramb peaked in the 6th century BC, disappeared from the weight of accumulated embarrassments, then reemerged 2,500 years later as the modern rugby song.

** Overhead squats are squats performed with a heavy barbell held over your head. The balance, mobility, and core strength required to keep the weight exactly over your center of gravity as you sit into a squat and stand it back up makes the overhead squat the unrivaled champion of exercises. If all exercises were gathered in a Roman coliseum in a battle royal to the death, the overhead squat would emerge as slayer of all other exercises. Even my beloved deadlift would be left in the dust, destroyed by the overhead squat’s superior demands on kinesthetic awareness, shoulder mobility, and hip & pelvic stability.

Enough asterisk-al chatter. The dithyramb:

Oh, amidst the mighty deeds of lifters of weights,
None compare to overhead squatters
Valiant, with boldness unsurpassed,
powerful strength exceeding those of a thousand puny mens
Over your broad brave shoulders
A tunic of plum draped round your plumiest of deltoids, you
raise up your loaded bar.
Pull the bar apart! Chest up! Weight in heels!
you are in the full bloom of youth,
How upright your torso, how stable your movement,
you of the mobile thoracic spine and supple hips and ankles.
There is in this exceedingly fine form of squatting,
total integration of purpose, from the tops of fingers to the end of toes;
Not a smidgen of slop, not a soupçon of slack.
Your neural circuitry is afire;
Your posterior chain as well
Every flaw of lesser mortals is exposed
Who is this squatter with such prodigious weight overhead?
Oh, copious our adoration!
How copious our adoration!
Let us fling beautiful women upon this godlike creature!
The overhead squatter grows vain;
Loads another ten pound plate
upon the bar. Oh tempter of the immortals’ envy –
Consider, you mighty beast,
need you always attempt heavier, and then heavier still?
“There is no glory,” you say, “more glorious than heavier still.”
The maidens – dozens, scantily clad – clap their hands in delight and cry out,
“Hercules! Hercules!”
This squatter who dares such prodigious weight overhead –
Oh bounteous is our admiration!
We are abundant with admiration!
Let us fling even more beautiful women upon this godlike creature!
Such risk to your glenohumeral, that shoulder joint draped in only muscle
(the plum tunic having long ago slipped off the mountain
of your musculature),
pack that humeral head down, my formidable friend!
You drop low as Hades, or below parallel at least,
κώλο στο γρασίδι (asinum fœnum) (ass to the grass)
But now you must stand!
Will you make the lift?
Rise! Oh, rise! Hip drive! Push those knees out!
You pushed a mighty weight over your head,
And sat it down,
You must now find all strength
Roaring forth from your tight, mighty lumbar,
And rise!  

As for you, dear queerfitter, see you tomorrow at 10:00. There will be overhead squats.