Balanced Muscles Build the Perfect Body
If you want a perfect, injury-free body the trick is to stop choosing sides. Researchers at Ball State University in Indianapolis report that the majority of weight lifters train one leg harder than the other. Given most people naturally lead with one side of their body more than the other, this is hardly mind-blowing news. What's not often realised is that training one side stronger than the other makes for unequal weight distribution, lop-sided muscle tone and significantly increased risk to injury.
Many physios agree, adding that a strength imbalance between two opposing muscle groups can also limit speed development. Many offer muscle balance testing to compare the strength of opposing muscle groups - important not only for injury prevention but to guarantee maximum speed of muscle contraction and relaxation.
When you're training, the main two muscle types activated are mobilisers and stabilisers.
Mobilisers are found close to the body's surface and tend to cross two joints.Typically they're made up of fast twitch fibres that produce power but lack endurance. With time and use, they tend to tighten and shorten. Mobilisers assist rapid or ballistic movement and produce high force.
Stabilisers on the other hand, are situated deeper within, only cross one joint and are made up of slow twitch fibres for endurance. They tend to become weak and long with time. Functionally the stabilisers assist postural holding and work against gravity.
Although these opposing muscle groups work together, over time mobilisers can inhibit the action of stabilisers and begin moving in an attempt to stabilise on their own.
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