We have all seen and may have been victims of it. What I am speaking of is commonly referred to as “muscle imbalance,” and regularly this is usually seen with most guys. As familiar as this may be, this occurs with other muscle groups too. Therefore, it’s essential for the sake of health, aesthetics, and strength, to focus on balancing your muscles.
The Risk of Muscular Imbalance
Many people only train their “mirror muscles,” which are usually the chest, shoulders, biceps, and abs because of the pleasant view when the shirt is off. Continue to do this, and you’re in for it the worst way. Significant imbalances bring upon injury and pain. Muscles that are imbalanced usually means that you have overdeveloped muscles in one area and weak muscles in the opposite. Therefore, you are adding unnecessary wear and tear on your muscles, joints, ligaments and in some cases even your spine, which is a big no-no. If you find yourself building up only the upper or lower body (in some cases), you will create a disproportionate amount of muscle in either top or bottom half of the body. Extra weight on the top half, especially, can add stress to the legs because they are not able to support the weight. Not only will you be top heavy, but you will be exhausted just by standing around!
Common Imbalances and How to Correct Them
Balancing muscles requires you to put complete focus on specific areas. For example your arms; if you’re focusing on biceps and neglecting your triceps, you will be unbalanced – sure your “guns” may look good, but your triceps may be weak. A common mistake is that you work out your biceps for bigger arms. The truth of the matter is that your triceps make up most of your guns than the biceps and do more work. Therefore, if you can not straighten your arms while relaxing, your biceps are overpowering the triceps.
Next imbalance is those with a big chest. Although it’s appealing, the moment that person turns around, you look at something that may appear out of place. The back is what I’m referring to and is another muscle that most neglect, only because it you can not see it during training. Not training your back is a missing link to an aesthetically pleasing appeal while at the same time showcasing strength. Although you can not look at your back when training, you can see the width of the lats from under the armpits once developed.
Wait, there’s one more!
The last muscle imbalance that goes unnoticed are the hamstrings (muscles in the back of the upper leg) and quadriceps (muscles in front of the upper leg). These two muscles work together to stabilize the knee and hip. Many people tend to have weaker or “tight” hamstrings with massive quads. The “tightness” means that the quads are doing most of the work. You also can expect an increase of damaging joints and ligaments in the leg and the knee if not corrected. Doing exercises that target the weaker muscle helps avoid injury and can even help with loosening up the tight tissue instead of merely stretching.
Now that you are familiar with the imbalances of muscles find that it is essential to have a balanced approach when training. Weight training is not just about aesthetics; it is about functional strength, which mainly acts upon in real life situation– being able to put those hard-earned muscles to use outside of the gym in the real world. So next time you hit the gym, pay some attention to your weak points! Click here if you need to download the guide that you see suitable to the results you desire. If you have specific goals, feel free to contact me for 1-on-1 online coaching if you are in need of furthering yourself on your fitness journey.