• Lisa A. Smith

Four corrective techniques that'll reverse muscle imbalances


We all have muscle imbalances and/or weak spots in our anatomy. I’ve yet to meet an exempt person yet regardless of how fit they are. However the thing that most of us don’t realize is that most of them are completely reversible and preventable. As humans our default setting, both mentally and physically, will always be the path of least resistance or what we like to call relative flexibility in the personal training world. This simply means that if certain muscles are more lengthened and causing inelastic tissue fibers in other muscle groups it prevents certain muscles from proving properly.


Another cause of muscle imbalances or weak spots may be past, improperly treated injuries and things as simple as repeated bad posture or the repetitive movement of the body in a certain plane of motion over time (for example lifting/loading boxes onto a truck for 40 hours a week). The great news is that like all health related concerns you have way more power than you think and chronic pain/discomfort does NOT have to be a life sentence.



Four corrective movements to get you feeling like yourself again


1. Muscle Flossing (also called blood flow restriction training): training technique that works by restricting blood flow to the veins, but not the arteries. When you restrict blood to the veins but leave the arteries open, you deliver blood to the target muscle without letting it leave. Be sure to inquire about this method with a certified trainer or physical therapist. I’ve personally done this on my knee following a taxing workout and it worked wonders!


2. Myofascial Release: treats skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles. It works best when done by a professional but many people have begun doing self-myofascial release using foam rollers at home or in the gym. Just be sure to have your coach walk you through proper technique first.


3. Massage: Preferably a sports or deep tissue massage. Because your focus here is on correction you want to be sure to choose a masseuse who’s well reversed in anatomy, circulation, postural assessments and tension relief and not just relaxation. When I first discovered my masseuse I was thoroughly impressed with her ability to identify (just by looking at me) the imbalances in my hips, shoulders, buttocks and lats which helped her to identify what the focus of that session would be. Because my work is so intentionally physically taxing it’s imperative that I see her regularly so that she can reverse all of the stress I put on my body in the gym daily.


4. Yoga: Need I say more? When I 1st introduced yoga into my practice I’ll never forget how immensely therapeutic it was both physically and mentally. There are MANY levels and kinds of yoga but the key here is to seek out instructors and styles that are specifically designed to reverse chronic pain, muscle tension and limited mobility. ALL classes and teachers are not created equal therefore be sure to do your research first and if it’s available to you a private yoga instructor that can focus specifically on your needs would be ideal.


Dedicated To Your Health


Lys

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