Coaches Corner

Muscle Imbalances Cause Injuries
Muscles in your body attach to bones. Contraction of these muscles creates movement in the body. This is a pretty simple concept. Unfortunately, when an individual is injured due to trauma, adhesions form in the muscles, which causes them to be shortened. Overuse of any particular muscle or muscle groups will also cause these muscles to be shortened. Overuse can be caused from weight training, or long term improper posture.
Every muscle has a particular action, or groups of actions. For each action there is an antagonistic muscle with an opposing and opposite movement. When these muscles are in perfect harmony each muscles pulls with the same amount of strength. When one of the muscles is either more powerful than the other, or shortened by adhesion, a muscle imbalance is created. This muscle imbalance creates an asymmetry in the body, dysfunction, and pain or injury.
An example of asymmetry is a bicep that is stronger than a triceps, or a hip flexor on one leg that is tighter than the hip flexor on the opposite leg. Another example is a group of muscles, such as arm internal rotators being tighter than arm external rotators. This asymmetry causes a decrease in range of motion, and a decrease in joint space. A decreased joint space will create irregular wear and tear of joint leading to osteoporosis and joint dysfunction.
For this reason, it is crucial to exercise every region of the body equally – both the muscles that are used for pulling and for pushing. Because of genetics, jobs, and individual activities of daily living we are all predisposed to certain injuries or aches and pains. No matter how much we try to keep everything in balance we may experience some level of pain and discomfort from time to time. But, those that exercise and stretch regularly will be much healthier, more active, and live life with less aches and pains.

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