The human body is capable of performing amazing feats, but it can also be a bit finicky. Our musculoskeletal system in particular is very delicate – one small pull, tear, or hyper-extension can throw our whole body out of whack.
One common problem that not many people are aware of is muscular imbalances. This occurs when one group of muscles (say, your chest) is stronger than the opposing muscles surrounding the same joint (in this case, your back).
Muscular imbalances can lead to posture problems, joint pain, inflexibility, injuries, and more. Here are some of the most common examples of muscular imbalances and what you can do to correct them.
The Quad-Hamstring Imbalance
Overly-strong quadriceps and weak hamstrings are common in many athletes, especially runners and football players. This is caused naturally by running and in the weight room by squatting too much and deadlifting too little.
How to fix: Implement more hamstring and glute exercises into your regimen such as hamstring curls, stiff-legged deadlifts, and glue bridges.
The Chest-Back Imbalance
In a world where bench press is king, it is no surprise that many people are overdeveloping their pectoral muscles while neglecting their backs. This can cause all kinds of problems for the ligaments in your shoulders, and can lead to severe injuries.
How to fix: Aim for at least one pulling exercise for every pushing exercise. Chin-ups and row variants are great, as are face-pulls, which target the often-neglected rear deltoids.
Most of us have a dominant side, and a little bit of that is okay, but too much can lead to problems. This is most common in basketball players because they are constantly jumping off of their dominant foot for layups and dunks.
How to fix: Perform a single-leg exercise each workout such as split squats or single-leg Romanian deadlifts.
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