It's About Time

If you have ever spent more that 5 minutes with me, it is fairly obvious that I love fitness. I have learned so much (sometimes the hard way) in the 30 years that I have been teaching. What better way to share my passion than to start a blog and pass on the information that I share with clients on a day-to-day basis.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Muscle Imbalance

Loaded with blossoms

It is only twigs on the left side

Can you now see why I thought of  muscle imbalances?  Duh
I love flowers, love plants,  and love fresh food out of the garden.  Oh how I wish I could have a green thumb.  I try so hard but plants and I have a weird relationship.  Take a look at my pictures and you can see what I mean. A client gave me this beautiful Orchid.  Now look at it.  It does great on one side and the other side just sits there.  What is up with that?  My thoughts after looking at this forlorn plan wasn't about getting directions to the nearest nursery for help-No, No, No.    My mind went straight to muscle imbalances.  It is pretty obvious why isn't it????

Muscle imbalances are a very common reason for injuries or the chronic tics and pains that bother us as we get older.  Our muscles should work together symmetrically to promote ease of movement.  Wouldn't it be great if we could just maintain that balance.  There are many reasons why muscles start to get out of sync with each other.

  • Daily Activities-Carrying a backpack inappropriately, wearing high heals,  slouching in our chairs or just overall poor posture.  All of those things can wreak havoc on our alignment and proper muscle recruitment.
  • Work Environment-It is hard to avoid working.  Many occupations make it hard to have maintain good muscle balance.  Think about hair stylist who have to stand all day.  Dentists who have to lean over to look in people's mouths.  Their work can easily promote muscle imbalances and they need to work to counter that.
  • Workout routine-Have you ever seen the people who only focus on their chest and shoulders and not their back? Basically their palms face outward and their arms sit on the front of their body.  Uggg.  Not pretty.  All their strength and attention is focused on the front or what they see.  Or how about the people who only work their upper body but walk around on chicken legs.  Not good.  Balance people, balance.
  • Injuries-When something is hurt our body tends to favor the part or side of the body affected.  We shift or compensate to alleviate pain.  As the injured part is used less it becomes weaker.  The other side or part of the body picking up the slack gets overused.  Weak and overused is a bad combination.
  • Sport Specific-Many sports promote using one lever more than the other.  Volleyball players tend to hit with their strong arm,  Tennis players tend to serve with the same hand and use the same torso rotation for that serve.  The more we have a dominate side the more apt we are to have a muscle imbalance.
All of these issues can be fixed.  Just being aware that you may be compensating in some way can help you avoid major problems or injuries. Be conscious about balancing everything out. Your body will thank you. 

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