Every person has some muscular imbalances in their body. Some are worse than others, but we all have them. What does that mean? It means that we live modern life in a way that emphasizes comfort and often disregards function. When we were babies, we could sit in a squat and play hours at a time. Take a random person off the street and, even if they can get into squat, they probably can’t hold it more then 5 seconds or their back would become increasingly parallel to the floor the lower they go (This is not good). This is a result of our environment and western lifestyles. If you spent 30 years sitting in a squat instead of a chair, then you would be free of imbalances. Alas, Most of us have chosen a chair, or couch, or chaise lounge as our seat of choice a few hundred thousand times. This leads to a multitude of issues in the body. Tight hips, poor posture, inactive glutes are just a few examples.
So what’s the big deal? Who cares if I have imbalances, or my glutes don’t work properly? Well, your fitness and health is going to be directly related to them, so you best become acquainted to them if you’re looking to improve the function of your body/ mange pain. The squat is a great example to help us understand the concept of imbalances. As a trainer/ kinesiologist, I often use the example to my clients of comparing them to a fictional identical twin with zero imbalances in their bodies. If your balanced twin is doing a squat workout and burns 100 calories, and you have a cornucopia of imbalances you may burn less then a quarter of that. Simply because imbalanced muscles will not contract properly or you physically cannot express enough range of motion to do any significant work. Oh, and if you have ever been confused on the debate if we should squat all the way down or not, the answer is you definitely should. When does doing half the work ever give better results? And if your knees hurt, that’s okay! We now have discovered the presence of an imbalance that we need to correct!
This is where fitness is tough. We have to truly examine our bodies, find where we are limited and address the issues we discover. It’s easier said than done. That’s why people have a kinesiologist, personal trainer, coach or instructors. Someone who is (hopefully) educated and can help you fix those issues or at least make you aware of them and give you direction on how to fix them. if you are going to the gym with no real plan or awareness of what your body specifically needs, then you will not be optimizing your time and your results. I don’t think that a trainer is 100% a necessity, but education is. This education doesn’t have to be formal. All the information that anyone would need to figure out how to learn what their body needs can be found with Google and YouTube. Then once you find the CORRECT information you must be diligent at trying to apply the knowledge you find.
This is the most difficult part of fitness and it is the most neglected. If you’ve never golfed before, would you be ready for the PGA tour? No, you wouldn’t. Same goes for fitness. If you haven’t learned how to move properly and address imbalances, then how do you expect to just walk into the gym and just be handed results? I can recommend 100 programs online that people could do depending on their fitness goals. If people aren’t doing the movements correctly, it doesn’t matter what the program is because you will never get the results the program may boast unless you address what your body needs to move well first. You may see a result at first if you go from no activity to some activity, but you eventually will find that you may hit a plateau that you just can’t seem to get past.
A plateau is a result of our body adapting to what we are doing without progressing due to some road block in our fitness. This could be from lack of range of motion/ mobility, muscular dysfunction, under active muscles etc. So we need to appropriately progress what we are doing or we simply stop getting the results we are striving for. So learning what we NEED to do is important to helping progress properly so we don’t hit a plateau.
In summary education is key. A good educated kinesiologist, trainer or coach, will help you get better results faster. A good coaches eye can help you figure out what your body needs, and can then give you a personalized approach to help you achieve maximum results. It makes it much easier than trying to figure out where to get the appropriate information and then applying it as need be. I recommend every person should see a kinesiologist, trainer, coach, teacher or any other fitness expert, at least to put them in the right direction to help learn how to help achieve better results. So if you’ve ever felt lost with working out, dealing with injuries, or just want to start the right way, contact me to develop a plan to start on the right path. I’ve trained hundreds of people, all of which I was able to help discover something about their bodies.
Every single person is capable of achieving fitness. Not everyone focusses on fitness in their lives, but I’m sure everyone has at least had the thought of the benefit of being fit and/or more physically capable at some point in their lives. It’s hard seeing people who try to get fit get discouraged if they don’t get the results they want. People quit working out if they get hurt or they don’t get the results they want. So if we focus on educating ourselves first, it will give us the tools to get the results we want and stay healthy, which in turn, will keep us motivated to achieve whatever goals we set. Reach out to me if you want to start on the right path on your fitness and health journey. My years of formal education and over a decade working in the health and fitness industry have allowed me pass on my knowledge to my clients in the most efficient and effective way possible. I’m sure I can help you with whatever needs and goals you may have to help live a better quality of life.
Dave Trought - kinesiologist