Muscle Imbalances… Potential Danger

Posted: July 6, 2013 in Fitness
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Muscle imbalance is a problem that arises of a variety of causesThere are many times that society puts people into tough situations that they might never have seen coming. People see a certain image of fitness, and only work the muscle groups that they associate with these images. Other times, it’s simply being a bit overly comfortable in your routine, and liking “what I’m good at”. While it’s excellent that you might have found your niche in the workout world, it’s often the things that we find the hardest that highlight the parts of our body that need the most work. In rarer cases, people will work a specific motion purposely for short burst and then cycle on to another movement pattern, and this is less problematic.

In my observations, legs and the act of actually working them out is a lost art among some folks at the gym. Now I’m aware that they aren’t the glamour muscles, but they are every bit as vital to your fitness and balance as your upper body. It’s not uncommon though, to see someone who is extremely underdeveloped in his/her lower body area, and totally ripped on his/her upper half. This is putting tons of stress on the joints of the leg, and will likely create endurance issues when performing cardio work. Also, as that person ages balance will become more rapidly declined (balance is the first key physical element to degrade in most people)

I can go over various types of imbalance, but I’m better off helping you never have to deal with this trouble in the first place. If you can set up a workout schedule that includes the vital elements of an balanced system, you will be many steps ahead of  the person who doesn’t. The word of today is “egalitarianism”. Look it up because it’s a cool word w/ a simple meaning. Here are some guidelines in no specific order about balancing out a routine.

Have at least one day dedicated to total body work. There are two main reasons for this, and they are quite simple. The first is that you will hit nearly every area at least once in a week, thus lessening the imbalance that can occur. The second is one that people tend to overlook. If you do a full-body routine and really struggle with one or two areas of that workout, take some time to assess whether or not these areas prevalent enough in your weekly/monthly regimen.

Think “Push/Pull” for upper body work. Let’s assume that you actually work your legs. You may be working on one plane of motion far more than the other. People who do excessive benching and overhead pressing (I love them too so calm down), may not be as proficient with deadlifts and pull-ups. Many fitness gurus will be very upfront about the fact that each time you are doing a pulling motion in that workout, it will be followed by a pushing one.

Don’t forget cardio/strength! There is a clear line of demarcation for females and males here. In general, males tend to overemphasize strength training, and females tend to overemphasize cardio training. I have run into many more females who life recently, but a vast majority avoid it. Many are afraid of appearing masculine in their build, The American Council for Exercise did extensive amounts of research that concluded that most females do not possess high enough levels of testosterone for that to ever occur. Guys, your muscle won’t shrink if you run a few times a week.

Change things up. The more we refine and evaluate what we are doing, the better it becomes. Don’t be afraid to take cues from the better in-home programs that are out there. I’ll be posting about the best of those very soon. The good ones are set up with a decent amount of balance.

Those are just a few ways to make sure you are doing what is best for your body each time out. I’m off now to do my UML (upper, middle, lower) workout ironically enough. Be fit, stay well, and take care!

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