Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

The Skinny on Muscle Imbalances - Restoring Order As A Means Of Eliminating Back Pain


There are many causes of back pain. Injury, illness, herniated disks and poor posture are just a few.

Muscle imbalances are one of the lesser side effects of improper use, posture, strain and injury, and are commonly the cause of the aches and pains associated with back pain. Unfortunately, most doctors don't diagnose muscle imbalances until it is too late.

Muscle Imbalances Defined

So what exactly is a muscle imbalance? A muscle imbalance is exactly as it sounds, an 'imbalance' or inequality that exists within the muscles. It occurs when two or more muscles in the body that oppose each other are disproportionate.

An example of a common muscle imbalance occurs in the muscles of the quadriceps and hamstrings. Most people work hard to strengthen the front part of their leg but often skimp when it comes to exercising the hamstring. A muscle imbalance in this area of the leg can result in a 'popping' sound in the knee. It can also result in back pain.

The single most common muscle imbalance leading to back pain is disproportionate abdomen to back ratio. Think of it this way... it's like a teeter totter that isn't balanced because one end is shorter than the other. It will still work but not optimally.

Not exercising the abdomen can lead to severe back pain because the abdomen supports the back.

Biology of Muscles

It will help your understanding a bit if you have an idea of how muscles work. Muscles are fibrous tissues that connect to bones in the body, supporting the function of movement. To facilitate movement muscles contract and then relax. So a muscle gets shorter and then longer in response to movement. A muscle imbalance may result in too much or too little contracting or relaxing. Or, some muscles may get too strong while others aren't strong enough and can reduce a persons' stability.

Factors Contributing to Muscle Imbalances

One of the primary causes of muscle imbalances is poor posture. If you sit for too long in a bad position or continually stand with bad posture, your muscles adapt to your posture but in a bad way resulting in imbalances.

Muscle imbalances can also result when you overuse a muscle. If you are right handed for example and use a pull lever on the job, and only pull with the right hand, the right hand/arm will be stronger than the left which presents an imbalance.

The Benefits of Exercise

The good news is that exercise can help reduce and even eliminate muscle imbalances. (If not careful however, improper training can also lead to muscle imbalances).

You can exercise weaker muscles to catch them up to stronger ones and work to correct imbalances and maintain overall stability. You can assess whether or not opposing muscles are out of balance by testing your lifting strength. Try lifting your maximum on one side and then the other.

For example, if you can lift a 10 pound weight during a bicep curl on the left side, but a 30 pound weight on the right, you have a muscle imbalance. You should enlist the assistance of a trainer when testing muscle imbalances. By working with a trainer, you can develop a fitness program that not only addresses muscle imbalances but improves overall tone and strength. Usually a combination of strength training and physical therapy or chiropractic therapy can be used to correct muscle imbalances.

Prevention

Prevention is critical when it comes to muscle imbalances and back pain. One of the best things you can to correct and prevent future injury is seek out the help of a professional trainer. A trainer can perform a physical evaluation and test the relative muscle strength you have on each side of the body. You can then work together to develop a strength training program that provides overall strength and eliminates potential problem areas.

About The Author

Steve Preston, President of Fast Fitness has been training and counseling clients for 15 years. He offers personal fitness training, metabolic testing and customized fitness and nutrition plans. His new guide *The Better Back Guide: 6 Weeks to Improving Strength and Reducing Pain Without Surgery* teaches people how to reduce, eliminate and prevent chronic back pain using a six week program. You can read more about his guide and his other fitness guides and services at: http://www.fast-fitness.net. Learn More about Back Pain at: http://www.backpainworkout.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Stuff.co.nz

Walking doesn't build muscle - study
Stuff.co.nz
Walking doesn't build muscle - study. Last updated 10:51 20/12/2011. women walking. Getty Images. NOT ENOUGH: Walking helps with weight loss but won't build muscle strength, according to a new study. Relevant offers. Well & Good. Turns out 'comfort ...



Build Muscle With This Diet for Young Athletes
STACK News
In the case of a 16-year-old male who wants to build muscle, he needs about 1.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If he has a fast metabolism, increasing carbs and fat as well as protein will facilitate muscle protein synthesis. If his ...



Better squats: Leg workouts that burn fat and build muscle
Today.com
A traditional bodyweight squat involves a shoulder-width stance, arms out in front or hands behind your head, and a simple lowering of yourself towards the ground by bending at the knees and hips. Very good for you but totally boring! These three squat ...



Clinically Researched Safe Supplement Helps Athletes Build Muscle
MENAFN.COM
Aside from helping people build muscle HGH therapy can make people look and feel younger with a plethora of advantages that include improved skin tone heightened sex drive better sleep increased lean muscle mass reduced body fat mood enhancement ...



New Press Release Published About Best Way to Build Muscle Mass without ...
DigitalJournal.com
Chelsea J. McDevitt published their new Press Release today about best way to build muscle mass without supplements. This PR reveals all about the program includes high strength workouts to help gentlemens pack on pure, shredded muscle in the ...

and more »


Weekly Wellness: Hard work on basic exercises
The Doings Weekly
Our weekly fitness column, “Weekly Wellness” is back again. This week, Matt Gallagher, from MFC Sports Performance in Darien, discusses how simple hard work can have you feeling better and more fit. Your routine doesn't actually have to “kill” you!

and more »


Enrollment open for Lose Big fitness program
Roanoke Times
Lose Big is a 12-week program for all ages and fitness levels. This is not just a weight loss program, it is also a program to tone and build muscle. Whatever your goals are, we are here to help you attain them. Orientation for the program is Oct. 6 ...

and more »


5 RSF group-exercise classes to add to your running training regimen
Daily Californian
This combination is super important for runners, because the different types of exercises will help build muscle in places that running doesn't target and will strengthen muscles — quadriceps, hamstrings and calves — that you put to the test during ...



York County seniors learn why exercise matters at 50plus Expo
York Dispatch
... as the number of medications seniors need, Henninger said. And it's never too late for strength gains: Research shows that people who stay active and participate in a consistent program can continue to build muscle mass — no matter their age or ...



No-Pain Six-Pack: Leg Workout
Men's Fitness
If you've been training for a few years, chances are you're no longer able to do all your favorite lifts, due to injury or age. But there's no excuse to bail on hard training entirely. Instead, with a few exercise substitutions, you can continue to ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.