Generally, a perfectly balanced body works better, looks better and can certainly help us stay injury free! Sadly, we are not born perfect, and despite the importance of maintaining muscle balance, most people and even some trainers seem to have missed this point!
Common Causes of Muscle Imbalances
I cannot tell you how often I have been in the gym and witness guys spending too much time on the front of their body (chest and biceps), and not enough on their back! It could simply be a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” There can be devastating results when exercises are done incorrectly and if certain muscle groups are overworked while others are ignored.
Heavy squatters who focus too much on their quads (front of their thighs), and not enough on their hamstrings (rear thighs), can fall prey to lower back injuries and faulty posture. Overuse and overworking one muscle group can result in tremendous overcompensation while the opposite muscle groups become weaker.
For athletes who are constantly using the same muscle groups in their sport, it would make better sense to train according to their needs and not their sport. For example, a baseball or tennis player should take into account the high stresses on the shoulder and reduce the amount of overhead lifting that he or she does at the gym, to reduce risk of injury and overuse.
In my years as a trainer, I have seen countless people who have developed imbalances from not healing properly from a sport related injury. Over time, they soon fall victim to muscular atrophy, especially if they have been forced to rest due to injury. Getting the proper rehabilitation to build strength back up is crucial to the healing process. If we ignore this part, we will definitely suffer with muscular imbalances as we age.
How do we promote muscle balance?
The simple answer is we must exercise the right way. Training the body synergistically is optimal. The Total Gym is the best equipment for working the body this way and staying injury free. The Total Gym provides an entire gym full of equipment in one machine. The added bonus is you do not need a lot of time to work your entire body safely and effectively.
*Please take a look here to learn more and see all the different options that are available to you!*
Too often, home exercisers leave you with the same exercises over and over again. This is terribly wrong and can result in overuse. We have over 600 muscles in our body and they are all screaming for your attention. The Total Gym provides hundreds of exercises in one machine!
If you are already working out in a gym, the best investment you can make is to hire an experienced trainer/coach to assess your strengths, weaknesses, imbalances and get a customized program. This will help you get stronger and do what is right for you now!