Muscle Balance Matters
Muscle Balance Matters and it only comes when you have the right repetitions, number of sets, and your weights are used properly. This combination creates greater strength and will help you avoid injury. The secret to getting healthier and more fit, gaining strength, and avoiding injury (especially to the joints), is to balance the work you do on muscle groups. Remember muscles come in pairs and the majority of them are bi-lateral meaning on both sides of your body. So you want to have each side of your body balanced as well.
Balance comes when strength and flexibility of opposing muscle groups are equal. Some examples of opposing muscle groups are Biceps and Triceps, Deltoids and Lats, Pecs and Traps, Abs and Erector spinae (low and mid back), Quads and Hamstrings.
Muscle Balance Matters
Why does Muscle Balance Matter? The biggest reason is that when there is balance between muscle pairs, you are more apt to avoid injury. When muscles are unbalanced, your joints get used incorrectly and it can cause wear, tear, and damage over time. Unbalanced muscles can also cause unnecessary pain throughout your body.
Examples of muscular imbalance:
1. A person lifts weights and primarily focuses on their pectorals (Chest), and spends very little time on the traps and upper back. Over time when they stand or walk, they will begin to stoop forward because the pecs are stronger than their traps and upper back. The result is poor posture, as well as neck and back pain.
2. Knee damage and pain is a very common complaint among people. This can be avoided with proper hip abductor and adductor work. When these muscles are balanced and strong they pull and hold the tendons in place, which in turn holds the kneecap in its proper position. When one of these muscles is weaker, the kneecap gets pulled out of place, and the result is pain and possibly injury.
Muscle Balance Matters, so how do you make it happen?
Cross-training is always a must! It is the best way is to achieve total fitness and muscle balance. Cross training workouts are a balanced combination of cardiovascular exercise and weight training. The weight training offers specific movements to enhance and achieve balance.
Every person has one side of their body that will be weaker, and typically a weaker muscle within each of the pairs. To create true muscular balance and avoid injury, you start by strengthening the weaker muscle and maintain strength on the stronger muscles.
To find your imbalances you must choose a weight and lift it independently. When you find the size weight that one muscle can do that the opposing muscle cannot, you found the correct weight to begin the balancing process. Once you are aware of natural imbalances, focus more effort on the weaker muscles until they are balanced out with the others.
Once balanced is achieved you must begin training in a way that will maintain the muscular balance. To maintain the balance, you must work the muscle pairs and bilateral sides of the body in a formation that hits all sides and with the right weight, repetitions, and set. Again this is where Cross-Training can really be of the most benefit.
Most gym programs don’t provide a true Cross Training Experience, as they rely on machines to move you in one direction and most people don’t use them properly or in the correct order of necessity. Therefore, it is important to find programs that are true cross training programs that also allow you to use your body and weights in multiple directions, with multiple reps and duration. This is why having a Coach to guide you in the right direction can be the key to your success.
Muscle Balance Matters! By strengthening every part of each muscle and muscle group, you will be able to obtain the results of a sleek, stronger, and more balanced body, while developing muscles that will help you avoid injury and pain.