Updated: Jan 16, 2019
Living with aches and pains, limited mobility and generally becoming weaker has become a way of life for many, not just for adults but also for children. The impact of modern-day lifestyles and inactivity on the human body is so immense that many of us do not have a clue on how to re-connected with our bodies.
Prevention is better than cure
To start, if there is pain present, go see a medical practitioner to sort it out. After that, change things so that you don't repeat the cycle.
Muscles prone to tightness and muscles prone to weakness
There has been a lot said about the modern lifestyle and the amount of time we spend sitting in front of our screens, desks, at home, or traveling.
Dr.Vladimir Janda identified two groups of muscles, the phasic muscles, and the tonic muscles.
Janda noted that the tonic muscles are prone to tightness or shortness, and our phasic muscles are prone to weakness or inhibition in the presence of disease or inactivity. Generalisations can be tricky especially considering that people are different from each other, but Janda did recognise that the body works as a whole and not muscles in isolation.
It is interesting to note that the muscles that are prone to tightness are the ones that shorten when sitting. Also, the muscles prone to weakness are the extensor muscles that we use against the force of gravity to maintain our posture.
Fast tracking old age
What is apparent is that the muscles prone to tightness are the ones we see in the mirror (biceps, pecs).
These are the muscles we often see trainers and people focused on strengthening and building in the gym, when they may be better off training the muscles that people see as you walk away.
When we focus our strength training on the tight tonic muscles at the expense of the weak phasic muscles, we are essentially training to achieve a typically old age posture.
The whole is more than the sum of its parts
I stretch what is tight and strengthen what is weak, but I consider this in the context of movement and not muscles in isolation.
Janda recognized the interdependence of the musculoskeletal and central nervous systems which tells us that the body functions as one unit and not as muscles in isolation.
You can start to see the problem in going to the gym and sitting on one of those high tech machines for a workout.
If your chosen activity is in a seated position, such as on a bike, and much of your day is spent sitting you then begin to see the importance in managing imbalances.
If its important, do it everyday!
They are also tremendous for cardio and along with joint mobility light restorative training days.
Including joint mobility work in your workouts with the fundamental human movements, will deliver better performance in sports and in life as opposed to doing endless isolation exercises.
Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional prior to beginning any diet or exercise program or taking any dietary supplement. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to replace a relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.