Saturday, July 5, 2008

"You're Only as Strong as Your Weakest Link"

It’s an annoying cliché uttered by irritatingly positive people but there is only one little problem: It’s true. It also applies to your body. People have this tendency to fall in love with specific body parts and disregard other parts of the body (Ususally anything you can see in a mirror). Then there’s also the problem with people not knowing about these muscles. They may not even think about them.

That is until they get sore. You may get thrown into a situation where you work these muscles when you previously hadn’t. I know this because it happened to me not too long ago. I got back to doing some serious hard labor and although I routinely exercise, life had a way of finding the weak points in my skeletal muscle.

The first one is embarrassing because I’ve written about it so many times: The lower back (or the Erector Spinale). Strength in the lower back is critical for overall health. The back. Frankly, this was a case of simple neglect. I hadn’t made a concentrated effort to make sure that I was throwing in bridging work on a more regular basis. It can be easy to forget because it’s not seen in a mirror and it doesn’t really impress girls at the beach. Neither is being weak. Don’t forget this key muscle in your body. It can be a painful mistake.

While the muscles on the front of the ankle are visible in a mirror, most don't give them a thought. I hadn’t until I started climbing up the hills that are all over my last job in Pennsylvania . These muscles lifts up your foot and the higher that you lift your foot, the more grip you can get on the elevated ground. If you don’t, then you may resort to bending your knees in positions that can cause pain. I know this because I saw a co-worker walk up hills with his feet twisted sideways to get a better foot grip. His knees ached at the end of the day. You can avoid this by doing Hindu and sissy squats as well as isometrics for this muscle.

Just remember that the health of your body depends on proper tension across the muscles. If you have weakness or excessive strength on one muscle, you can compromise the entire structure. So make sure that you exercise your muscles thoroughly. Try different exercises, mix it up, and move freely without pain.

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