Correcting Muscular Imbalances Using Poses

8 Feb

Pigeon Pose

The human body is a movement system. This system is considered to be balanced if the joints create motion that is consistent with their kinesiological standard. We can tell if our body – or our movement system – is in balance by means of surveying posture and alignment, and we can also tell if it is out of balance by detecting problems in these areas.

The muscles that surround each joint create what are called ‘force couples’ of ‘equal and opposite forces’  that affect that body parts to which the muscles are attached. When one of these muscular forces is altered, a change occurs in how the joint functions about its axis of motion.

A potentially negative result of this is that the faulty joint mechanics can cause excessive of insufficient stress to the joint and its supporting ligaments and tendons. The result is overuse, which can cause irritation to the joint or soft tissues, leading on to worsening episodes of pain, aching, and/or stiffness.

Yoga can be used to correct muscular imbalance, by strengthening muscles around traditional ‘problem joints’. Here are some explanations of some different, traditional yoga moves that can help to both prevent and stave off injury:

Downward Facing Dog: Stretches feet, shoulders, hamstrings, and calves, while strengthening your core, arms and abdomen. People often experience back pain as a result of chronic tightness in the hips. Downward facing dog releases these areas, and it also builds upper body strength.

Warrior I: Stretches shoulders and hips, and strengthens the upper and lower body. This increases space and mobility in the areas in which it is need the most – shoulders, hips and knees. This pose also generates great stability in and around the knee.

Bridge: Stretches neck, chest, spine and hips. This pose releases the intercostal muscles, and connective tissue surrounding the rib cage. This pose opens the chest and allows for fuller, easier breaths, and is helpful for upper respiratory issues.

Pigeon pose: Stretches the thighs, groins and psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders, and neck.

Boat pose: Strengthens abs, spine, arms and hip flexors, which strengthens the core and back muscles.

Bow pose: Tretches the hips, shoulders and thighs, and strengthens the back. This pose reduces the risk of back injury resulting from muscular imbalance.

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