When you’re trying to get rid of your soft belly or excess fat on the back of your arms, targeting only those specific areas is almost impossible. Losing weight is a process during which you might experience some asymmetry until you lower the percentage of your body mass index and shed excess fat across the board. The same principle applies to muscle growth. Once you start lifting weights, your muscles will grow, but you might encounter some imbalances due to several reasons. Aside from an aesthetic point of view, correcting muscle imbalance is vital because of potential injuries that can occur due to lack of adequate joint support. Today we are going to talk about how to fix muscle imbalances, but let’s start by covering why they occur in the first place.
What Causes Muscle Imbalances
Common muscle imbalances happen due to a couple of reasons. For example, each one of us has a dominant side so let’s say you are right-handed and are exercising with a barbell. You need both hands to lift a barbell, but because your right hand is more dominant, you’ll be contracting your right side more than your left. We all tend to do this subconsciously, and as a result, end up with asymmetric muscles.
Another reason why we might experience muscle imbalances is due to the nature of our workplace. Most people who have a 9 to 5 office job remain in a seated position for an extended period of time. This can affect your posture and create imbalances. The muscles surrounding the hip joint are especially susceptible to imbalances if you tend to spend a lot of hours in a sedentary position.
If you’re a novice in the gym, you might not be familiar with a diverse number of exercises. Performing the same exercises that target specific muscle groups more than others can easily lead to imbalances. For instance, activating your pectorals more often than your lats can result in bad posture and rounded shoulders.
Worried you might have uneven muscles? Complete a simple test and find out.
Muscle Imbalance Test
Face the mirror sideways, take your shirt off and look at your posture. If your shoulders are leaning forward and you can see your upper-back, your chest muscles and your back muscles are of unequal strength and need to be corrected. While you’re standing in front of the mirror, check if your stomach protrudes forward and if your pelvis is slightly tilted. This can also be an indicator of muscle imbalances.
Fixing Muscle Imbalances
Aside from hard work and commitment, you’ll need a few tried and tested methods to fix your muscle imbalances. Here is our advice:
- When performing exercises, concentrate on activating your less dominant side.
- Choose unilateral exercises and do more reps with your weaker side.
- Watch your posture when spending countless hours slouching in your chair and take every opportunity to stand up and move.
- Work on your hip mobility by stretching them out and focus on diverse exercise programs.
- Use mirrors and monitor your movement. Make sure your performing exercises in the correct form.
- Be consistent and make sure to follow a specially designed program. Don’t skip certain muscle groups just because you enjoy chest day more than leg day.
Are you seeking help in correcting your posture? Here at Peak Physique & Performance, we can give you our undivided attention and work closely with you in overcoming muscle imbalance. To achieve all your fitness goals this year, keep up with our blog and follow our advice.