We all have muscular imbalances. No one is perfectly symmetric. We probably aren’t aware of our imbalances because most of us have never had a posture evaluation. It wasn’t until I was on my personal trainer course that I realized I have the classic ‘chicken wings’ imbalance due to my serratus anterior muscles. Muscular imbalances can be the cause of day to day physical problems, manifesting themselves in discomfort, or the worst case, injury. And it sucks! We don’t realize it but we develop these imbalances because of the things we love doing, not knowing any better. But there is hope! Trust me, I know! I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
I think most of us that are physically active prefer one activity be it running, walking, cycling, etc. But, if we only do these activities, we are prime candidates for developing muscular imbalances. I include myself in this category. Years ago when I took up running, I didn’t do anything else. I was like Forrest Gump, run Darryl, run! That’s all I did. Did I develop IT band issues? You bet. Why? Because all I did was run! I didn’t bother developing, building the other muscles in my legs that were being neglected. I paid the price in having to deal with discomfort and injury because of this.
Another example is some of us have shoulders that are anteriorly rotated due to day to day activities that develop our anterior deltoid muscles, and neglect our posterior deltoid muscles. Things such as carrying heavy bags (groceries, etc.), working with our hands out in front of us, such as keyboard use. A good way to develop this imbalance is doing a lot of pushups (great for developing pectoral muscles and anterior deltoid muscles) and neglecting exercises that develop the posterior or lateral deltoids. Sound familiar? How many of us are engaged in activities that are strong on pushups, but not any activity that work the neglected muscles. Yeah, I hear you.
What can be done?
Ahh, so you are interested in knowing what can be done to address the imbalances. Good! That’s the first step! Good for you!
What you can do is see your personal trainer, and have an assessment done. Your personal trainer should be able to identify the imbalances, and recommend activities that can be done to address these imbalances. With a proper program to work on these imbalances, it will just be a matter of time and work to neutralize the imbalances. It can be done! I know, I have been there! Trust me.
So don’t worry. The beautiful thing if you are reading this is that you are ready to address your imbalances! Like I said at the beginning, we all have imbalances. The important thing is being ready to identify them, and work to fix them. Once you do this, you are on your way to minimizing imbalances, and minimizing injury, discomfort due to these imbalances.
Yours in good health,