08 Mar Help! One Side Is Much Stronger Than The Other!
Q: Hi Raul Bravo. You’re a Pilates and Fitness Trainer at Flex. Is my muscle strength imbalance common?
A: It’s a normal psychological issue. Human beings tend to overwork one side of the body; the side that they write with, hold a utensil with and so on. BUT, unhealthy muscles and incorrect body alignment will be formed.
Q: Oh no! Can it be detrimental to our bodies/cause pain/imbalance?
A: Absolutely. If one muscle group is overly used, the stronger muscle will overpower the weaker muscle group. That’s because it causes ‘reciprocal inhibition’ (one muscle on one side of a joint relaxing to accommodate contraction on the other side) and that’s when we get muscle imbalance.
Q: Yikes. How to fix it?
A: Generally, it’s good to go back to basics and understand your body before adding heavy weights or power and speed exercises. I would say to build a good foundation within the body is key; poor stabilisation and mobilisation often prevent people from doing exercises properly. A correct standing and sitting posture when performing an activity will definitely help by minimising injuries and developing healthy muscles more easily. Get professional advice first and go from there.
Q: Best exercises to do daily to counteract this imbalance?
A: After getting an assessment, I recommend rotational stability, so lunges and planks are great. These help strengthen the core so you have strong foundations regardless of any imbalance. Always ensure you engage your core well before moving either side, but especially focus before working on the weaker side.
Q: What not to do?
A: Always listen to your body! Rest if you need and come back to it later.
Raul is a FLEXtreme trainer at our One Island South and Central studios. http://flexhk.com/flextreme/