One of the first things I look at when someone comes to see me for training is their postural imbalances. Everyone has them, and if we don’t first look at this then we cannot provide our bodies the best kind of training.
Quite commonly people join a gym to get fitter and stronger which is great, however they miss the first step in the learning process which is what sort of postural imbalances they have. This might be a restricted lower back, weak core muscles, tight feet, tight shoulders, etc. If you start an exercise program without knowing your specific areas of weakness, then you could be strengthening your postural weaknesses and causing more restriction instead of improving them. If you are someone that finds when you go to the gym and train that you pull up stiff and sore in the wrong places like your ankles, knees, hips or neck, then you may be someone that is weight training the wrong way.
I commonly find, especially with my male clients, that they will read the health magazines and do a variety of suggested sessions that are listed, such as a chest workout or leg and back session. While these programs probably have some great exercises in them, if you don’t know your postural imbalances then you could be doing more harm than good. For example, if you’re someone with really tight rounded shoulders, which is very common, doing a heavy chest and shoulder focused program could result in sore shoulder joints, a sore neck, or a reoccurring injury in these areas. A good way to keep a balanced program is to maintain a balanced push-pull ratio.
Make sure if you are working with a trainer that you ask for a full movement assessment before you start their training program. It is also important you ask what areas have come up as weak, tight, or unstable as this will assist you when you hit the gym on your own.
Qualified movement specialist