When one muscle is stronger than it's opposing muscle, you have an imbalance. For example, if you do push-ups or bench press daily, but never do rows, pull-ups, or other upper body pulling movement, there's a good chance your chest is far stronger than your back, and you will likely have a strength imbalance.
It’s not just those who play sports who are at risk. “About 65 percent of injuries—both athletic and lifestyle-related—come from overuse, which is repetitive use of joints that are rendered dysfunctional by muscular imbalances,”
So why is this an issue? As far back as 1992, an article published in the Journal of Sports Medicine showed that an athlete is 2.6 times more likely to suffer an injury if an imbalance in hip flexibility of 15 percent or more existed.
How It Happens
Your opposing muscles / muscle groups are designed to work together. Those muscles must be balanced in terms of strength, flexibility, and even posture to be efficient and to prevent injuries.
Here are some examples of muscle pairs and the movements they enable:
• Biceps and triceps help bend and straighten the elbows.
• Deltoids and Latissimus Dorsi lift and lower the arms.
• Abdominals and Erector Spinae bend the spine forward and backward.
• Quadriceps and Hamstrings bend and straighten the knee.
• Hip Abductors and Adductors move the legs toward each other or apart.
Who’s At Risk
For non-athletes, a simple daily activity such as picking up groceries, working at a computer, sitting in one position for a long time, or lifting a child can cause muscle imbalance over a period of time. But for athletes, muscle imbalance is likely to be an overuse issue as a result of a particular motion used in their respective sports.
Weight lifters often develop the chest muscles (Pectorals), while neglecting the muscles in the upper back (Trapezius). Pitchers in baseball often develop one arm or one side without giving equal attention to the opposite arm or side. In tennis, there is a condition informally called “gorilla arm,” which happens after years of doing almost every motion with the dominant arm to the detriment of the non-dominant arm. Many conditions are caused by muscle imbalance. For instance, patellofemoral pain results from a band of muscle tissue that pulls the kneecap outward so that it grinds against the groove in which it lies. Runners’ knee, jumpers’ knee, low back pain, and Achilles Tendinitis are other common athletic injuries directly or indirectly caused by muscle imbalance.
The “prehab” (prehabilitation) exercise routines address the muscle imbalance and movement imbalance issues. “Prehab, is the proactive means of training and conditioning often-injured areas of the body, such as the shoulders and hips, to prevent injuries and surgeries that would require rehabilitation.”
Pillar strength consists of hip, shoulder, and core stability, which is the foundation of efficient human movement and which is vital to optimum performance and health.
Prehab is designed to strengthen the muscles supporting the upper back and shoulder rotator muscles. This improves posture by pulling the shoulder blades back and down. The ball and joint socket of the shoulder should then move freely and efficiently.
Contact us for your assessment appointment. Assessments are by appointment with Michael. This process is to see what your muscular needs are and imbalance. Please call ahead 575.257.5902