Are you experiencing muscle imbalance during your exercises? Do you notice that your body is asymmetrical? Do you look in the mirror and see that certain muscles have size imbalances?
For proper movement, opposing muscle groups must work and coordinate together. Muscle length and muscle strength need to be balanced for normal movement and function.
Common Body Parts That are Affected by Muscle Imbalance:
- Forward Head Posture
- Hunched/Slouched Shoulders
- Anteriorly Tilted Pelvis
With big muscle imbalance, certain muscles will work harder and overcompensate. This can lead to pain and injury on either side.
Two Types of Muscle Imbalance:
- Body Muscular Imbalance – The muscles on the Right and Left side of your body should be similar in size and strength. If one side of your body is stronger/larger, the weaker side can overcompensate and recruit the wrong muscles. This can lead to pain and injury.
- Joint Muscular Imbalance – Each of the muscles that control a particular joint movement must work in conjunction with its opposing muscle to create a proper movement. If one muscle becomes stronger or weaker than its opposing muscle, it can disrupt the mechanics and range of the movement.
Your muscles work in pairs. One is responsible for pulling the joint while the other is responsible for pushing. When one (agonist) contracts, the opposite muscle (antagonist) relaxes for full joint movement.
What Can Cause a Muscle Imbalance?
- Poor Posture
- Unbalanced Exercise Program
- Strengthening Activities with Improper Form
If you are experiencing muscle imbalances that are impacting the quality of your life, Physical Therapy can help. Muscle imbalances can lead to physical issues such as limited mobility, pain, and asymmetrical posture. A Physical Therapist can help determine which muscle pairs are imbalanced and help strengthen it. Call Respire PT today at 703-671-1871 to schedule a personalized evaluation!
Written by: Dr. Kevin Teng, DPT