Muscle Balance Through Resistance Training
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends resistance training 3 days a week with 8-10 different exercises. But when it comes to actually creating an effective resistance program, finding the right exercises can be confusing. Even experienced athletes may fall into the pitfall of creating an unbalanced workout routine.
Resistance programs that are unequal (meaning focused on certain muscles while ignoring others) increase the risk of injury. An unbalanced resistance program can result in poor posture or pain, such as lower back pain or pain between the shoulders. Muscular balance establishes the correct ratio between muscular strength, endurance and power between agonist and antagonist.
The goal in a resistance program is balance. “Muscle balance” refers to the relationship between the agonist (group of contracting muscles) to the antagonist (passive opposition muscles). Each time you work out a muscle, you want to give the opposing muscle an equal work out. A perfect example is the relationship between quadriceps and hamstrings during leg extensions. As the knee extends, the quadriceps contract (agonist) and the hamstrings are passively stretched (antagonist).
Here’s a guideline to help you maintain the balance between muscles:
Written by Michelle Grenier MS, RCEP ATC, CSCS, CES. Michelle Grenier MS, RCEP ATC, CSCS, CES is the exercise physiologist for LWI Peak Performance and Lifewellness Institute. Michelle’s lifestyle is dictated by her passion for running. She’s been running for 22 years, coaching athletes for 10 years and wrote her master’s thesis on Uphill Running Economy. Want to get an edge on your training program – visit www.lwipeakperformance.com or email Michelle at [email protected] .