“When we can move properly, then we can strengthen and stabilize in a highly effective way. We can then become structurally balanced. The front, back, top, bottom, left, and right sides of our body all in harmony.”
Last article was about empowering yourself through achieving improved mobility. The ability to take care of yourself when you feel discomfort or pain is invaluable. The knowledge to know when to call pain management therapists and when you can do something about it yourself is empowering. When we lose our dependency on therapists to manage pain we can free ourselves to do anything we want. However, there is another part to body and movement freedom. That is what todays article is about. The other part…
Strengthening and balancing our bodies through exercise is crucial to the equation of feeling better, moving freely, reducing or eliminating pain, and enjoying life. Unless your lifestyle allows you to move in various ways and you perform many physical tasks in a way that you’re body is naturally balanced, it’s likely that you would benefit from some meaningful, structured exercises. And if your lifestyle does involve that much movement its also likely that you may need the after mentioned mobility or corrective exercises as well. Thats because no matter who we are or what we do there’s a high likely hood of having an unbalanced body. Both too much movement or too little movement can cause imbalance in the body.
When we have muscles that are under-utilized, weak, or inhibited there is a huge opportunity for improvement. The main reason for most peoples pain (ranging from normal wear and tear to having gone through injuries or surgeries) is because certain key muscles go through atrophy from under use. Take the gluteus maximus for example. Most of us sit for the majority of our day. At work, driving, on the couch, watching your kids play a sport, we are always sitting. This causes the glute muscles to shut off because they are simply not being used, activated, or strengthened. The result is a chain reaction throughout the body. Your hamstrings become tighter to make up for the lack of strength in your butt. Your lower back muscles do the same. It’s your bodies way of compensating to make sure you can still be an erect human being. The problem is that over time these tight muscles become chronic and it leads to muscle fatigue and eventually pain. If you look at this example you can see that above and below the weak area is where your body compensates. This can be the case for any muscle on our body. The same thing can happen to the left and right sides of our bodies and even top to bottom. That is what an imbalance is. One side or one area is weak or under active. Your brain is intelligent and recruits the necessary muscles to compensate and keep you functioning.
This is where carefully selected activation exercises can make all the difference in the world. Most of the time when we purposely activate a muscle it can balance the body more than you think. It’s not like the muscles are dead, they are just under active. Yes they can be weak but strengthening them comes after learning how to recruit, activate, and use them properly. Just doing the first step of activation can be incredible to help the body be more structurally balanced.
Most people go wrong when trying to get back into shape or get fit because they start out with advanced movements and exercises. Jumping into intense exercise that require a high demand of body awareness and a body that can function properly leads to injury. Sure you can do it for a week or two, maybe a month. If you’re lucky you can keep it up and stay injury free. For the majority of people the negative aspects rear their ugly head sooner than later. Knees ache, lower back pain gets worse, shoulders get impinged, it goes on and on. Motivation plummets and the thought of exercise becomes less and less appealing. Call up those pain therapists, its time to get treatment and take a break. Start over again in a few months or hit that New Years Resolution when everything settles down. Rinse and repeat.
If this all sounds too familiar then its time for a change. A permanent change. Check out the Posture Improvement tab on the home page to see how a Movement Assessment can do just that. Get educated. Get results.