Avoid muscular imbalances to remain pain and injury free

I know many people who do only certain exercises that target specific area of the body. They do this either to improve the body composition of a certain part the body for example the chest or the biceps or the abdominal. They think that exercising those body parts you will help them lose fat from that area and enhance the look

Are you one of them?

Then you need to read this as I am going to explain the mistake and the risk it is putting you to. This mindset and the resulting action can put you at a risk of pain and injury. The common postural issue of slouching(kyphosis) is also a result of muscular imbalance.

I am going to cover 2 things:
1. The dangers that can happen when you exercise only few muscle groups in your body or you do exercises for certain body parts
2. What you can do to avoid that the the pain and injury that comes from muscular imbalances

If you are exercising only certain muscle groups in your body then you are causing muscular imbalances. Say for example you wish bigger biceps and you only do exercises for the biceps. Now there is another muscle which is behind which is the tricep. The bicep and the tricep muscles together support the shoulder joint and the elbow joint. These are the two joints do with the biceps and the triceps attach so whenever you have to move the shoulder or you have to move the elbow these are the two muscles that come into play there are others as well but i’m just keeping it simple for now.

Say for example you are someone who is looking to build big biceps and you do a lot of bicep curls. If you do not balance your tricep strength, it will render your triceps weak and your biceps will become strong. In this process your biceps will become shorter because that is how strengthening happens – by flexing the muscle. Your triceps will become longer because you are not flexing them enough. And with this a muscular imbalance arises towards the elbow joint and towards the shoulder joint and this can lead to pain because one muscle pulls the joint more and the another is not pulling as much and it can lead to pain and then injury.

Similarly with your knee joint. The knee is supported by muscles from all from all the sides and if you do not strengthen all the muscles that are supporting your knee joint then it can lead to muscular imbalances and later to pain and injury.

So then the next question is : What can we do in order to avoid this kind of the kind of a risk and injury? You definitely wish to look great but not at the cost of your health and well being.

So understanding different complementary muscles groups in our body is the first step.  Complimentary muscles are muscles that work in pair. When one muscle is flexing (shortening) the another is extending (lengthening) and vice versa.

If you want to build a balanced strength along with flexibility you will need to exercise each of the complementary muscles now let me cover the complementary muscles so that when you design your exercise program you can you can work each of these muscles.

Following are the set of muscles you should exercise in pair:

  1. Bicep and triceps: bicep curls/chin ups with Tricep extension/Dips
  2. Pectorals (chest) and Trapezius( Is a rhombus shaped muscle which starts from the from the base of your cervical spine and goes down to cover a certain part of your thoracic spine) Chest presses/pushups with shoulder presses/shoulder press pushup
  3. Deltoids (The muscles on top of the shoulder join) and lattisimus dorsi (Muscle right underneath your shoulder blades) shoulder raises/lateral raises /front raises with pull-ups/ chin-ups/lat pull-
  4. Abdominal muscles and Erectus spinae(the muscles of the back) All kinds of crunches with all kinds of planks/bhujangasana
  5. iliopsoas (Situated around the pelvic region and helps to bring your knees to your chest) and Gluteus(Hip muscles/bum muscles(pardon my English)) – Knee raises against resistance with bridges
  6. Quadriceps (thighs) and Hamstrings(behind thighs) All squats/All lunges with Deadlift/Legcurls with sliderdiscs/dumbells/on machine
  7. Tibialis Anterior (shin muscles) and Gastrocnemius ( calf muscles) – Toe raises with calf raises
  8. Hip abductor(muscles on the outside of the legs) and Hip Adductors (muscles on the inside of the legs) – Lying leg raises with lateral legs/ball squeezes.

For a fit and healthy body and good quality of life build a body balanced in strength and flexibility. You can download the infographic from my academy. It also has some suggestion for exercises.

Women’s Health Mastery – Starter kit is my step by step coaching system for women who are looking to enhance their vitality, reclaim their youth and aspire to live a life of their dreams. To know more please visit: https://school.navitae.com/p/women-s-health-mastery-starter-kit

-Ruma Pal

Certified Health and Fitness Coach, ISSA, USA
Women’s Fitness Specialist, NASM, USA


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