Is your body sore on one side? Have you heard a friend complaining about their recent injury and how it was related to the workout routine they are undertaking? If the answer is yes then chances are highly likely that either of you is suffering from a muscle imbalance.
What is a muscular imbalance?
We all have unique movement patterns but when we overuse certain muscles and underutilize others, a compensation pattern emerges. The body remembers frequently used motor patterns and repeats them automatically. As a result, overused muscles become tight, inflamed and irritated (causing the soreness) while those that are underused grow weak.
10 Daily Habits That Cause a Muscle Imbalance
While it’s kind of unrealistic to expect the average person to maintain balanced poise, there are a number of daily habits that contribute to this problem; here’s a look of 10 of them;
1. Sleeping on your stomach or the same side – if you sleep on one side every night then you should change that. It may be uncomfortable at first but the change is worth it.
2. Leaning on one leg while standing – don’t put all your weight on one leg when leaning over a counter. Instead, shift the weight from one leg to the other.
3. Using one hand for holding items – when handling items like a hair dryer, toothbrush or mobile phone can cause a muscle imbalance.
4. Crossing your legs with the same leg on top – if you do cross your legs when sitting don’t do so with the same leg on top.
5. Carrying bags on the same side – try switching sides (or shoulders) when carrying bags.
6. Using your dominant to go up a flight of stairs – the next time you are going up a flight of stairs try to observe whether you tend to overuse a dominant side.
7. Don’t lock your knees when standing still – this tends to keep blood from flowing evenly
8. Holding your tablet or phone at the waist level – this tends to cause a neck strain. Avoid it.
9. Driving for an extended period – driving for long periods can put a strain on one leg.
10. Training on one side while participating in sport – as an avid tennis or bowling enthusiast your body can tend to develop on one side more than the other and this is hard to reverse.