3. Common Imbalance #1: Chest vs Back
When your chest and upper back muscles are balanced you naturally stand taller and look leaner. However since most of us work at desks where we round over for hours, the muscles in our chest are tight while the muscles in our backs are weak. Sound like you? Well try this simple test and see: Lie on your back with your hands by your side and your palms face up. Then, raise your arms overhead until they touch the floor. If your back arches when you do this then this is the imbalance you are going to want to fix.
Here’s how: Bent over rows. This exercise will strengthen your upper back and stretch your chest at the same time. Start in a standing hinge position- bending at the waist, chest toward the floor and neck neutral. Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length. Raise them to your chest and then lower. Think superwoman chest while the shoulder blades squeeze together to hold a million dollar check. Do 12-15 of these.
4. Common Imbalance #2: Calves vs Shins
If you just picked up running and are noticing that shin splints keep interrupting your workoutflow then your 6 inch heels may be to blame. Rocking heels 24/7 keeps your feet flexed at all times. This weakens your shins and can shorten your calf muscles. Think your shins are strong and you are exempt diva?
Try this: Stand with your back against a wall and your heels about a foot from the wall. Lift your toes as high as you can and then release. Do this 15-20 times as quick as you can. If you start slowing down towards the end then you are going to want to strengthen and stretch your calf muscles a bit more. Simple calf raises can do the trick for the strength, and can work wonders for your lower leg when coupled with this stretch: Stand an arm’s length from the wall. Bend your front knee while lengthening your back leg straight behind you. Keep the knee straight and heel on the floor for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.