Friday, June 4, 2021

Resistance Training : Creating Balance

Resistance Training : Creating Balance
Creating Balance :

We now know that resistance training can be a great way to burn fat when performed correctly, but what other benefits are there? Resistance training is not about how much you can lift, it's about how well your body can move and perform, especially under a load or resistance. An essential element to resistance training, which is far too commonly over looked, is actually training your body to be able to take it's own weight safely. This isn't me saying that you're overweight, so you can remove that idea from your head. It's not about how much you weigh, it's about your body's ability to support yourself. Specifically I'm talking about joint stability here. I'm not going to go in to huge amounts of detail here today, but the basic point I want to get across to you is about muscle balance around joints. Specifically, the facet joints of the spine, the knees and the shoulders.

Depending on a number of factors, for instance your lifestyle, your job, the kinds of training you do, the sports you play, how much time you spend seated, any injuries or conditions you have or had, all of these factors can affect the balance of strength in your muscles around a joint. If you have an imbalance, this creates instability, which usually results in pain or injury.

Think of you spine and your posture. If you spend your days at a desk, you will spend a lot of time hunched forward. Over time, this will cause the muscles in your hip flexors, chest, shoulders and upper abdominals to shorten and tighten, causing your rear delts, rhomboids and erector muscles to lengthen and weaken. This creates shear forces through the facet joints of your spine and greatly increases the load and pressure through the disks. Eventually this can lead to herniation, ruptures, degeneration and all kinds of nasties. All in all, imbalance isn't so good.

Think of the muscles around your joints as having a constant tug-of-war. If there is balance, then there is a stalemate. If one side is stronger than the other, then that balance is lost and eventually one team will collapse and land in the mud. OK so it's not the muscles collapsing, but it illustrates the point.

Resistance training, when integrated with mobility exercises and flexibility, can help to re-balance the body by strengthening the weaker muscles, and re-creating stability.

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