5. Common Imbalance #3: Quadriceps vs. Hamstrings
Sorry ladies, I have some sad news. Due to the natural makeup of our bodies, ie. wider hips, our quadricep muscles (the ones in the front of our legs) tend to overpower our hamstrings (the ones in the back). However finding the proper balance between these sister muscles can lead to less lower body injury, faster running speeds and overall leg power. Test things out down below by standing in front of a chair that is about a foot from the wall (facing the wall).
Now you stand in between the chair and the wall (your toes should be six inches from the wall. Keep your feet hip width apart and squat into the chair. If you have to tap the wall for balance then your quads are running the game. Don’t fret though lady, stability ball leg curls can do the trick for your hamstrings. Start lying on the floor with your calves on the stability ball. Raise your hips, then pull the ball toward you. Return to start and repeat 10-12 times. Add some standing quad stretches (balance on one foot and pull one heel up to your bottom for 30 seconds) and you will be balanced out in no time.
6. Common Imbalance #4: Glutes vs. Hip Flexors
Where does the power in your lower half come from? Your glutes (also known as your rump shaker). Always sitting can cause your glutes to lose strength and eventually they can even forget how to contract. Shame. No more twerking for you. This also places extra strain on your hip flexors, which in time become short and tight. And trust me, the last thing you want is tight hip flexors. This imbalance can lead to all sorts of injuries.
So lets put those hips to the test. Lie on a bench with your knees pulled into your chest. Keep holding one knee and let the other leg lower as far as possible while keeping it straight. Do both sides. If either leg doesn’t rest on the bench then those hips are tight sis. But have no fear Dear. You can rejoin the twerk team by doing some glute bridges. Lie faceup with you knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips to the ceiling and hold for a moment before lowering. Do this 12-15 times. And when you are done stretch things out by kneeling with one foot on the floor in front of you. From there push the hips forward to feel a stretch in your hip flexors. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!
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