Over 90 % of Women Have These 5 Muscle Imbalances
Muscle imbalances occur when one group of muscles, for example, hamstrings, is stronger than its opposing group, in this case, the quadriceps. Every woman has, at least, five of these imbalances, and they are becoming increasingly common as more and more of us are sitting at a desk for extended periods of time, and physical activity is on the decline. It is important that you learn to recognize these imbalances because they can lead to serious injuries and undo all of the hard work that you’ve put in at the gym.
Here are the five most common imbalances and how to treat and prevent them from
Quadriceps and hamstrings
This imbalance is most often seen in runners and those who sit at a desk for hours every day, and typically involves a weak and tight hamstring combined with stronger quadriceps. Knee injuries are common when these two muscle groups are out of balance, as the knee gets pulled in the direction of the stronger muscle group.
The best lower-body exercises to prevent this imbalance are the stiff-legged deadlift and the squat. These are large movements that allow the lower body to function as a whole, as it was designed to, rather than focusing on a single muscle. Avoid exercises such as leg curls and quadriceps extensions that target only one muscle group, as they will only cause further imbalance. Also, stretch regularly, ideally after you work out because the muscle will be warm.
Biceps and triceps
The biceps and triceps are the muscles that form the upper arm and are responsible for flexing and extending the elbow. Any imbalance that occurs within this group is usually due to repetitive movements, such as a hairstylist who cuts hair all day, holding her arm in a partially flexed position for hours at a time.
This muscular imbalance is characterized by one muscle being extremely tight with pain ranging from moderate to more severe. Also, characteristic of this is a muscle knot that can actually be felt. One of the best ways to treat and prevent this is with yoga. Yoga emphasizes long, powerful movements that exercise the muscles by elongating them and for that reason is a wonderful addition to any routine.
Chest and back
This muscle imbalance is characterized by rounded shoulders and upper back. It is caused by tight pectoral muscles in the chest which pull the shoulders forward and the back out of position. Over time, this can harm your posture and cause the neck to become misaligned. It is almost exclusively caused by sitting hunched over a desk as well as placing too much emphasis on chest exercises and neglecting the back.
Fortunately, there is an easy fix: Rowing either with a machine or free weights. Combine this with deep stretching across the chest to help it expand. If the imbalance has affected your posture, practice walking as if you were suspended from a string attached to the top of your head. This will place your spine and neck in the proper alignment.