August 16, 2010
One of my friends, Rick Kaselj, is a very bright kinesiologist, exercise physiologist and personal trainer. He sent me this article, which I wanted to share with you – and I will also be interviewing Rick in the upcoming podcast #108. The information that Rick provides, and his unique insight, is in my opinion perfect for 1) physicians and personal trainers who are trying to address mysterious aches and pains in their patients and clients and 2) people who are at a fitness plateau because they keep getting injured.
Let me know what you think of Rick's article by leaving your comments below.
Why You Probably Have Muscle Imbalances
If you sit, drive, do computer work or watch TV more than an hour a day, there’s a good chance you have muscle imbalances.
And that's not all.
There is good chance that those muscle imbalances have led to aches, pains and injuries in your body. Do you have any of those?
There is a good chance that those muscle imbalances have led to a fitness plateau or have slowed down your fitness gains. How have your training gains been of late?
Now that I have your attention, let's talk about what can be done about it.
What Can You Do to Get Rid of Muscle Imbalances
There is a lot you can do about muscle imbalances.
Let's start with sitting. This is the number one cause of muscle imbalances. Sitting puts the human body into a “fetal position”, which shortens the muscles, especially around the hip and back areas. As we stay in these shortened positions our muscles adapt to the shortened position, and eventually can remain in a shortened state of “spasm”.
Breaking up your sitting will help break up your muscle imbalances. The breaks don’t need to be long, but long enough to get out of your sitting position. Something that you've probably heard Ben mention before is to simply do 25 jumping jacks for each hour of sitting that you do…and it can be as simple as that!
Next, let's think about mobility. Many times, proper movement of our joints end up being affected by muscle imbalances, and the biggest problem is that the joints tend to decrease in the range of motion through which they can move. When a specific joint does not move properly, joints above and below need to move extra and be exposed to extra stress in order to make up for the loss of movement.
Interestingly, this lack of mobility is often experienced in the mid-back and neck area, so it is important to make sure you have good mobility here, or these muscle imbalances will lead to injuries in the neck and back – and loss of your fitness from the inability to do any exercises that stress the neck and back!
So, here's a way you can address poor mobility in the mid-back with a common household object: go get a ½ gallon container of soda – which is a 2 liter bottle.
Yes, that's right, an article at BenGreenfieldFitness has instructed you to go get some soda. Of course, if you already have a foam roller, you can use that.
Now, lie down on the big soda bottle (or the foam roller) and roll your back up and down the bottle. You should start in the middle of your lower back, and roll all they way to the top of your shoulder blades. You should do this at least 10 times, and if you have a job that requires sitting, you should do it every day when you get home from work.
Summing It Up
A big problem that is probably leading to your injuries and fitness plateaus is the problem of muscle imbalances. Two quick things you can do to address muscle imbalances are A) frequently moving out of a sitting position and B) working on the mobility of your body, especially your mid-back. Integrate the quick tips from this article and you will be on the road to getting rid of muscle imbalances.
About The Author:
Rick Kaselj MS, BSc, PK, CPT, CEP, CES has spent his professional career helping clients recover from injury, manage chronic conditions and prevent injury through exercise. Rick is a kinesiologist, exercise physiologist and personal trainer. The key that has lead to Rick’s success has been addressing muscle imbalances in his clients. If you would like to eliminate your muscle imbalances or help your clients do so, click here to check out Rick's program “Muscle Imbalances Revealed”.