Right this very second, you are imbalanced. Parts of you are askew, deficient, out of harmony with the rest of your body. Do not be alarmed. You are completely normal.
Most of us are “handed,” meaning we favor one side, and usually the one we write with. This side is stronger, it does more of the day-to-day activities, and we rely on it to feed ourselves, brush our teeth, carry heavy bags, and even simple things like step up onto a curb or platform. The problem is that most of us don’t spend any time trying to bring our weaker side up to par with our stronger side and the balance just gets worse.
It’s not just a left-right thing either. If you only focus on one type of exercise (say pushups) without focusing on the opposing muscles (by doing, say, pull-ups), you’re up to 2 1/2 times more likely to injure yourself according to one 1992 study from the journal Sports Medicine. These aren’t new facts and this isn’t something only athletes and workout warriors need to worry about. Just going about your every day life is cause for concern as well.
According to Core Performance, up to 65 percent of all injuries come from repetitive use of one set of muscles where an imbalance exists. This means if you aren’t trying to stay strong, you’re that much more likely to hurt yourself doing something as “normal” as climbing the stairs or getting out of bed. Really, it happens.
The solution? Work out, but be sure and focus on a full set of exercises. Pilates is a great form of resistance training that can work on every muscle group in isolation, allowing you to more quickly bring up to speed the areas of your body that might currently be lacking. I’ve recently started doing Pilates again at Lisa’s studio, and while I might not fully enjoy the hour I spend training, I always feel significantly better immediately following the class. Strange how that works, huh?
Previously on The Reluctant Hubby: “The Winter’s Coming Workout”
photo credit: James Jordan