Throughout May I’ll be talking about the common causes of muscular pain and injuries and how you can prevent them. This blog is about muscular imbalances.
What is a muscle imbalance?
A muscle imbalance is when one muscle or muscle group is too strong compared to it’s opposing muscles. It’s not that each muscle should be able to lift or hold the same amount of weight but rather handle the weight at the correct ratio.
There are also differences in the same muscles but on different sides of the body. For example, your right arm may be stronger than your left, especially if you are right handed. Nobody is symmetrical along the right and left sides of the body but ideally aim to get as close as possible to symmetrical for both sides of the body.
The balance of your muscles will depend on lots of things like:
- your job – is it sedentary or active? Do you make any repetitive movements in your job role?
- Exercise – Depending on your sport you might over develop some muscle groups compared to others
- Posture – how you sit and stand will affect muscular imbalances and the opposite is true – muscular imbalances will impact upon your posture
What issues can imbalances cause?
Firstly don’t stress too much because muscular imbalances are inevitable. Nobody has a perfectly symmetrical body. Because our bodies adapt according to the activities we do different people will have different strong and weak areas. This is not necessarily a bad thing although if it gets too pronounced it can lead to injury by causing additional stress on the body.
For example many people tend to have quadriceps (muscles at the front of the thigh) that are much stronger than the hamstrings (muscles at the back of the thigh). If this becomes too pronounced it can increase the risk of knee injuries as the muscles on the front “pull” too much on the knee.
What should I do about it?
- Try to include all your muscles in your workouts. Think full body functional movements that take your body through a wide range of motion. For example here is an introduction video on youtube
● Be mindful about how you use your body and notice any recurrent aches and niggles. These could be a sign you have an imbalance
● If you have recovered from an injury you might be left with a weakness in that area. Pay attention and incorporate strengthening moves if needed.
- Don’t focus too much on one muscle or muscle group. For example if you work your chest muscles a lot balance it out with a back workout.
- Don’t do lots of repetitive movements if you can avoid it
- Don’t spend lots of time sitting – move around as much as you can!
If you have tried the above tips and are still in pain I might be able to help with Sports therapy. A one hour consultation is £55 and includes
- an initial consultation with an assessment of the issue and what factors might be contributing
- Hands on work including specialised massage techniques and acupuncture or cupping where appropriate
- Personalised exercise plan with corrective exercise which will be emailed to you within 48 hours of your appointment.
- Advice on managing your injury at home
Sound good?Schedule Appointment
My name is Anna and I founded Relax Therapies in 2015 after a lifelong interest in health and fitness.
I am a weight training geek and love going to the gym and lifting heavy! My other big passion is counselling and I have nearly finished my training to be a counsellor.
My clinic is based in Birkenhead on the Wirral.
If you have any questions contact meSchedule Appointment