The gym is an undeniable essential when it comes to sport performance. This is a well known fact, but what actually goes on in the gym is almost as important as going there in the first place! The body is an amazing machine, capable of incredible things. But that is exactly what it is, a machine. Essentially, your whole muscular system is a bunch of pulleys and levers working to move your limbs. Much like any machine, an imbalance or a weakness to a working part can have a massive effect on performance. Because of this, it is essential we keep our system balanced.
The Danger of Muscular Imbalances
Any imbalance, front to back or side to side can lead to a drop in performance and increased risk of injury. For example, continually favouring one set of muscles will lead to a reliance on them. From here, you risk the opposite muscle set shutting down or not firing correctly. The result is an excess of stress and pressure on the surrounding structures.
Having fantastic Quadriceps (thigh muscles) and weak Hamstrings can lead to lower back problems. If your Hamstrings and Glutes don’t fire, you are relying solely on your back to keep you upright. you may also be relying on your Quads in many exercises, meaning you actually change the movements, reinforcing the imbalance. You also have an increased risk of direct injury to the hamstring such a strains and tears. Anyone who has torn a hamstring will tell you this is definitely something to avoid.
Increasing stress on the ligaments of the knee can also be catastrophic. Again, anyone who has torn an ACL will tell exactly how painful it can be.
Creating A Balanced Workout for Sport Performance.
The simplest way to avoid imbalance is to break down the movements we perform and place them into simple categories. The most common of which is push and pull. For every action, there is and opposite. If you push something, you need to pull some. Here is a look at some basic pairings.
– Shoulder Press/Pull Ups
– Bench Press/Bent Over Row
– Press Up/Supine Row
Exercises don’t have to be performed in the same sessions, but across a week make sure that there is a balance. If you already know you have a weakness, simply spend more time focusing on that movement. You want to be moving similar loads across pairing, if you weigh 80kg and can shoulder press 80kg but cannot perform 1 pull up, you need to rethink your program.
A Personal Training session in Richmond with one of our Expert Personal Trainers is tailored to you and your needs. As a result, the session will aim to correct any imbalances and ensure you avoid injury!