It’s Balance That Counts
Keeping your opposing muscles in good balance saves you from sustaining joint injuries. Since an injury will tie you up and gluteus will be the only muscles bound to get any exercise while you convalesce, we should take precautions against getting injured. In sport experts’ opinion one way to achieve it is by getting the strength of opposing muscle groups into balance.
If your chest and back muscles (pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi in the scientific argot) are not developed equally well, it may cause injuries of shoulder joints because these muscles move the joints in the opposite directions. Predisposition to other injuries lies in gross imbalance between weakness and strength of other groups of muscles like quads and hamstrings, biceps and triceps. For example, hamstrings are often injured due to quads being naturally stronger.
Some Australian scientists (Edith Cowan University, Joondalup) conducted a research aimed at gauging the relationship between the strength of chest and back muscles. Professional and semiprofessional rugby players were chosen with two kinds of workout: one-rep-max bench press for chest strength and one-rep-max weighted chinup for back strength. The results revealed only a few pounds’ difference in strength ratio between the chest and the back which makes a fairly well-balanced picture. On the next stage the scientists sifted away the data received from the semiprofessional players – and the professionals showed no variation in the strength ratio at all. It pointed to a conclusion that a negligent strength ratio difference may well be the reason behind the pros having lower injury statistics as compared with athletes that are not in the upper category.
It makes a spotter for testing your one-rep-max strength for bench presses and chin-ups a highly useful thing to help you avoid shoulder injuries. But if you don’t have one at hand you can make do with some simple arithmetics. Find a weight that will allow you to perform exactly 10 bench presses, add it to your bodyweight and multiply it by 1.33. Do 10 chinups with additional weight plus your bodyweight and compare the results. A difference of more than 30 pounds is a sign for you to put more workout into the weaker part.
And, by the way, a bench under the chinup bar won’t come amiss. It will put your chin above the bar from the start and you will begin your exercise with the downward motion similar to what you do in a bench press when you go down before the pushup motion.
Source of the image: cs.miami.edu.