Preventing injury with structural balance fitness program design

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Preventing injury with structural balance fitness program design

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Does your fitness trainer only count reps? No!

Most people will think that fitness trainers are there just to get you off your behind and motivate you to exercise.

However, experienced physical fitness trainers don’t only just do that and don’t only count reps for you. They are there to tell you what exercises to do. They have your best interest in mind. Your health and fitness well-being is your trainer’s success story. If you succeed, they succeed.

How does improper fitness regimen injure you?

The exercise your personal trainer prescribes to you is customized to your physical fitness level and your goals. Their skills and knowledge from their education, internships, experiences are what you paying for. More about pricing rates.

Guys only want to train for big chest, big biceps

If you are a guy, you most likely want to have a big chest, big biceps, get six pack abs.  So, most guys will focus on working out the chest and biceps. In a lot of cases, the training muscles on the back are not emphasized. This is a training regimen that is not balanced – strong in front but weak at the back. It’s a recipe for injuries waiting to happen.

We once had a case of 2 brothers, in their late twenties, maybe their ages are a year apart, so genetically, they are similar.

The older of the 2 brothers enjoyed bodybuilding so he had his shoulders bulked up, big chest muscles, big arms. The younger brother did some meditation, breathing and yoga exercises.  Both of them decided to join kung fu classes offered through our sister company, Bamboo Kung Fu.  One of the kung fu techniques tests your core stability strength. When tested, it turns out that the older brother, who has bigger upper body muscles has weaker core muscles than the younger brother who had done some meditation, breathing and yoga exercises. The older brother’s lower back seemed to buckle under the impact of the strike of a technique.

Females like nicely shaped butt 

If you are a female, while idolizing Kim Kardashian’s well-developed butt, consider improving your core muscles stability strength. If your lower back is weak, you can sustain injury more often than you think and in areas far away from your core or lower back muscles. For several reasons, females are prone to knee injuries. In fact, 8-10 times more common than in men. Read more about it in Workout Plans for Women-2 great tips to workout success

The takeaway here is having big muscles at the upper body or a well-developed butt, doesn’t automatically make you strong in other areas of your body. In this case, it’s  weakness in the core/lower back muscles. So, focusing your training on some body parts and ignore training on other parts of the body constitutes imbalanced training regimen.  So, a well-balanced training program ensures that the entire body gets training and develop physically in a balanced manner – not just strong on upper body but weak at the core.

Long term structural imbalances can hurt you

Back-squats-best-fitness-exercise-for-weight-loss

Back squats – best exercise for weight loss and strength

 

When the body is structurally imbalanced, the injury risks are high. Your muscles can be very strong in one direction and weak in another angle.  Maybe, you’ll pull your back muscle trying to catch yourself from an accidental fall or perhaps, dislocate a shoulder joint after bumping into the wall – so, you are injury prone – a glass body that breaks at the slightest pressure.

However, you are not alone. There are other elite athletes who have gone through the similar muscular imbalances. What is more common in elite athletes are their stabilizer muscles are usually weak.  While they are pumping up their prime mover muscles via the bench press, squats, deadlifts, etc., their stabilizer muscles are underdeveloped. According to Canadian strength coach, Poliquin, when the stabilizer muscles are weak, ” ….  the body is protecting itself from injury by neurally inhibiting strength gains. ”  This explains the reasons for hitting a plateau in training programs.

Interestingly, Dr. Mel Siff, co-author of Supertraining said, “For many years the Russians and Eastern Europeans have supplemented the training of their competitive athletes with systematic supplementary training in other sports.”

Here some the most common weakness according to Poliquin:

  • weak shoulder external rotators – teres minor and infraspinatus.

 

In order to increase gains in training performance, we need to address the flaws of fixator or stabilizer muscles. Failure to do so, will most likely result in injury.

For more information, contact Personal Trainer Toronto Now!

 

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References:

  1. Poliquin, Charles, Achieving structural balance, T-Nation blog, available on:  https://www.t-nation.com/training/achieving-structural-balance, 5/14/1999
  2. Goss, Kim, Structural Balance and Auxiliary Exercises, available on: http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/uploads2/10_julaug_structuralbalanceandauxexercises.pdf


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Wafaa Hasan, Ph.D & Dr. Omar Dessouki (Orthopaedic Surgeon) Toronto, ON

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