To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions. – Newtons third law of motion
How equal are they??
Knowing your opposing muscle groups is an important part of any workout. Why? Working one set of muscles while not the opposite can create muscle imbalances that over time lead to joint dysfunction, pain and injury.
Here is a list of the opposing major muscle groups that you should know:
See Illustrated anatomy for pictures.
Biceps – Triceps
Pectoralis Major – Posterior Deltoid
Anterior/Medial Deltoids – Latissumus Dorsi
Internal Rotator Cuff muscles – External Rotator Cuff muscles
Abdominals – Erector Spinae (back muscles)
Quadriceps – Hamstrings
Hip Abductors (primary muscle is the gluteus medius, but some sources include gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae) – Hip Adductors (5 muscles on the inside of the thigh)
If you look carefully, some muscle imbalances are easy to spot. For example, the next time you are at the gym, or anywhere for that matter, look to see if you can spot those with an increased thoracic curve (hump in the upper back area), and internally rounded shoulders that may or may not accompany forward head (ears not in line with shoulder and for some the chin juts forward). This imbalance is known as excessive Kyphosis. The reasons behind this condition often relate to such things as improper lifting (incorrect form or too much anterior, upper -body work, read Bench Press – men), sedentary lifestyle, arthritis, osteoporosis or as in my case, years of incorrect posture.
Depending on the degree of kyphosis, certain strategies can help prevent or manage this condition.
If you would like to know what strategies can be applied to kyphosis or if you want information on other muscle imbalance conditions and their remedies, please leave a comment…