Manic Monday ~ Body Balance

Have you ever observed someone perform hundreds of abdominal crunches? I mean seeing someone work on their tummy for 20 minutes is great effort, but to not condition the flip side of that core area (the back) can cause some major imbalances that most likely will lead to injury. Most of these injuries are preventive if the right body training is performed. I've had my share of observing many interesting workout routines in my 20+ years of working in the fitness industry. I can tell you, there have been some routines that are do more harm than good!

Take for example the ab frenzy that most people perform. They want to work on their tummies so they spend a majority of their time performing hundreds of crunches and sit-ups. Same idea with that guy who wants large biceps. All you witness that guy doing is bicep curls. Well, as you're trying your best to tone or build those muscles, you're putting a hurt on the muscles that essentially are the "supporting actors." And that supporting muscle group remains weaker and will eventually become injured. When working muscles, there is an important factor to remember. Your muscles work in combination with each other when making movement. If you condition just one specific muscle group without the balancing muscle groups that aid in movement, you are not providing optimal conditioning. To understand this concept, here is a description of this concept:

Agonist/Antagonist Muscle Pair:

A dyad of muscles that essentially counteract each other’s activity about a joint.

Examples

• Pectorals/latissimus dorsi—pecs and lats

• Anterior deltoids/posterior deltoids—front and back shoulder

• Trapezius/deltoids—traps and delts

• Abdominals/spinal erectors—abs and lower back

• Left and right external obliques

• Quadriceps/hamstrings—quads and hams

• Shins/calves

• Biceps/triceps

• Forearm flexor/extensors

Ideally, if you condition one muscle group, you should also condition the paired muscle group as well. This will ensure a much better conditioned body and will certainly help reduce the risk for injury.

So rethink the lopsided training routines. It might not effect you immediately, but you don't want to be like a bunched up elastic band down the road. Balance is always better!!

Have a GREAT week!

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