General health and training

General health and training

how to fix muscle imbalances

How to Correct Muscle Imbalance

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.

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exercise for women over 40

Fourties Are the New Thirties: Make Your Workout Effective

Your forties can be the new thirties as long as you take care of your body and stay physically active. However, there is a big difference between just exercising and exercising the right way.

The more we age, the more we are prone to gaining weight, having various hormonal imbalances, low-thyroid function, and the list goes on. Cortisol spikes become a frequent occurrence, along with insulin resistance, and generally, the feeling of drowsiness. This can affect not only our performance in the gym, but also our everyday life, and how we look and feel.

Another thing that comes with age is wisdom. You want to be wise about the way you approach your workout. Listen to your body, adjust accordingly, and train smarter. If you don’t know where to start, we can help you with some advice and an exercise program for women over 40.

Keep Moving And Stay Consistent

As we age, gaining weight becomes a problem due to our metabolism slowing down significantly. To combat this, make sure you’re staying physically active as often as possible. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a full training session every single day of the week. As long as you squeeze a minimum of 30 minutes three to four times per week, and break a sweat, you will be safe. Attempt to mix weight lifting, some type of cardio, and stretching.

Trainning

High-Quality Sleep Is Essential

When life gets busy, the first thing we resort to is sacrificing our sleep. While we can get away with cutting our sleeping hours when we are younger, getting your 8 hours of rest is more important than ever when you reach a certain age. Giving your body enough time to recover is key to combating fatigue and being able to keep up with your workout regimen.

Exercises for Beautiful Legs

Here are two great exercises that will keep you in shape.

  • Squats

Squats focus on your quads and hamstrings, giving you that much-needed leg strength. Having strong legs will take some load off the ligaments and joints.

Keep your feet flat against the floor and your chest high as you go down into a squat. Don’t worry about going too deep, just work through the range of motion that suits you.

15 to 20 reps

  • Lunges

This exercise will give your hips a nice stretch and improve their flexibility. Besides the obvious glutes, quads, and hamstrings involvement lunges fire up your core muscles which are vital in supporting your entire body and improving your overall stability.

While performing lunges focus on keeping your back straight and your front knee in line with your toes. If you have the right technique, challenge this exercise by doing walking lunges

3 sets of 10 reps

Need more exercises to complete your workout regimen? Want to find out how to properly execute them? Check out Peak Physique & Performance blog section where we regularly publish articles and share tips on health, fitness, and nutrition.

We are a Miami-based fitness studio that focuses on personal training sessions with a unique approach to fitness. With our help, achieving your goals is easier than ever.

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Nine reasons why women should do weight training

Lyen_Wong

Lyen Wong

Strength training is an important part of improving your overall fitness, and for women, it can mean much more. In addition to numerous health benefits, adding weights to your routine can become a form of personal development that builds strength in all areas of life.

1. Boost your metabolism naturally

By adding muscle through strength training (even just a little bit), your resting metabolic rate (i.e., the amount of calories you burn daily by just existing) also increases. Athletes are calorie-burning machines even when they are not exercising.

2. Protect your knees

Women have a wider pelvis than men, which creates a larger angle at which the femur meets the tibia, also known as the “Q-angle.” This larger angle leads to an amplified chance for ACL injuries— up to 10 times greater than men. Building hip strength through movements such as squats and lunges has been shown to decrease this risk.

3. Gain more independence

Isn’t it nice to be able to put your luggage in the overhead compartment without the help of the man sitting behind you? Let’s smash the stereotype of men being the only ones who are able to help move furniture and get heavy jobs done!

4. Maintain bone density

Due to dropping levels of estrogen, postmenopausal women are prone to osteoporosis. Numerous studies show a positive relationship between resistance training and bone density. When bone feels the “pull” from the muscles, bone growth is stimulated. Not only can strength training offset bone loss, it can actually cause an increase in bone density in women who regularly lift weights.

5. Elevate mood

Women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men, yet two-thirds of these women do not do anything to combat these feelings. The release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin during resistance training chemically helps exercisers acheive a feeling of well-being. Weight training also leads to an increase in energy, better sleep patterns, and a feeling of accomplishment and control.

6. Improve posture

Combat a kyphotic (hunched over) posture by strengthening the backside of the body. Proper posture leads to injury prevention and better power transfer in athletics. Plus, you just look better when you stand up straight.

7. Shape without the bulk

Due to their lower levels of testosterone, it is very difficult for women to develop large, bulky muscles. Instead of the bulk, most women tend to build a nice hourglass figure—curves we can be proud of!

8. Move better for longer

By strengthening muscles and improving bone density, women who spend time in the weight room are typically active for longer periods of time. Increased hip and leg strength aid in mobility and balance, and upper-body strength helps combat postural issues that can lead to back and shoulder injuries.

9. Become a better athlete

Gone are the days when coaches worried that lifting weights would build bulky muscles that would weigh down athletes. Strength training can lead to better functional movement, explosive power, durability and, of course, greater overall strength.

In conclusion

As often as we talk about all of these benefits,  still 9 out of 10 women do training because they want a better butt. What is the best way to achieve a better butt? Squats. Lunges. Strength training. Period.

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Weight loss or fitness: Lean and fit, not thin and lanky

Nowadays, people are more aware about health and fitness than ever before. But we are constantly bombarded with information and this can lead to misconceptions. Most of us desire to be thin and may end up taking the “easy” way, which may have severe repercussions on our bodies and our health.

What is fitness?

The first step to developing an effective fitness program and to achieving optimum health, is to understand that fitness and nutrition are two sides of the same coin. A fit body is one that has cardiovascular fitness, muscle endurance, strength, flexibility and optimal body composition. Most of the time, we fail to consider this and only concentrate on losing weight. But it is important to remember that losing weight and having a good body composition is not the same thing.

What is body composition?

Body composition is the right proportion of fat and muscle in your body. But the number we see on our scale can cause confusion. One must understand that body weight is made up of skeletal mass, muscles, organs, water, body fluids and fat.

In today’s world, with significant improvements in technology, body weight is an archaic concept. If you weigh a lot, do not be alarmed, but if you have a high percentage of fat in your body you may need to worry. You need to consider that muscle mass is heavier/denser than fat. A seemingly thin body frame with a low body weight should be considered a sign of poor health ONLY if the muscle mass is low. Understand that irrespective of shape and size what is important is to have less fat and more muscle in your body – this is what defines health in very simple terms.

Therefore achieving the right body composition should be the first goal for everyone. The only way to accomplish this goal is by incorporating a good workout and eating healthy food into your everyday lifestyle.

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Lyen Wong’s 39th birthday workout

Watch international figure competitor, fitness model and and personal trainer Lyen Wong do her annual birthday workout. It’s her 39th this year…

Lyen also does individual birthday workouts with our clients if they’re lucky (or foolish) enough to come in for a training session on their special day!

 

The video was filmed at our new Small Group Personal Training studio in Miami. Special thanks to Patrick A. Frey, CSCS who came up with the idea first!

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The importance of posture in your workout

Working out at PEAK PHYSIQUE & PERFORMANCEEach January, people flock to gyms and training programs, determined to get in shape, return to fitness and lose weight. Then: ouch! A hurt, an ache, an injury. Or, alas, no results. Often, that is due to bad alignment and bad posture.

Q: What does proper body alignment mean in terms of working out?

Proper body alignment means maintaining good posture and core stability, no matter what movement or exercise you are performing.

Q: Why is proper posture important when you’re in the gym?

Good posture has been proven to improve all levels of human performance. Studies show that when you are aligned, your body moves with less effort and mobility, stability and strength improves — and you become more efficient at transferring energy and strength up and down the kinetic chain (foot-to-ankle-to-knee-to-hips-to-spine-to-scapula-to-shoulders-to-arms). Therefore, stress of training stays within the muscles of your body and reduces joint stress and injury.

Q: Any advice to people headed to the gym about body alignment that can help them avoid injury?

Be aware that your body will mold to the posture you are in at the end of a rep. Ask yourself…is that what I want to look like? Compare how closed and slumped forward you look finishing a front fly to how open and tall you look at the end range of a reverse fly.

Also, one of the most important moves to master in fitness is a proper hip hinge. Most movements in core and posture training (squat, lunge, etc) involve moving properly from the hips, instead of rounding forward and using your back, which is the cause of many low back injuries in training and sports.

Interview with Dr. Brown

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Article: Effects of rapid weight loss on your body

Magazines and websites everywhere want to tell you how shed weight quickly or, even better, “melt” your fat off either through diet or exercise. But they leave out the negative effect that quick weight loss has on your body. We all want to lose weight in a hurry but we hate to break it to you: the only ‘quick’ solutions to weight loss are usually unhealthy. Are you aware of the effects of rapid weight loss on your body? Let’s find out.

  1. Cellulite – The term cellulite refers to the appearance of dimpled skin on your abdomen, thighs, buttocks and hips. Weight gain and loss are one of the reasons for cellulite.
  2. Weight gain – We may lose weight quickly with intense ‘dieting’, but your body tries to accumulate calories when it lacks sufficient vitamins and minerals. The practice of not eating only does more harm than good.
  3. Malnutrition – This is common sense, lack of a balanced diet will lead to malnutrition.
  4. Makes you hungry – If you haven’t eaten after a long time, do you feel like eating fried and oily food? That’s exactly what happens if you starve yourself.
  5. Lack of energy – fainting – Lack of nutritious food equals lack of energy. Feeling tired? Eat a healthy meal.
  6. Hair loss – Lack of protein and nutrients can lead to hair loss. Your body needs food to regenerate cells.
  7. Depression, lack of sex drive and irritation are some emotions you will face.

Bottom line: Don’t be fooled with quick weight loss diets. Effective weight loss is a combination of exercise and diet, the healthy way. Weight loss is not a piece of cake!

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