Symmetry and why is important during exercise

Our bodies are a wonder of engineering but are definitely not symmetric.
All of us have some degree of scoliosis which also means that one hip is a bit higher than the other, one shoulder higher than the other, there’s probably some rotation, etc. Most of us are either right-handed or left-handed meaning that we will do most of our daily tasks with our preferred side.

All of the above cause imbalances in strength, mobility/flexibility, and locomotor skills. Examples:

  • Strength: One biceps muscle is stronger than the other.
  • Mobility/Flexibility: Having a bigger Range of Motion when you side bend to one side (in comparison with the other side).
  • Locomotor skills: Kicking with one leg is not as controlled and accurate as kicking with the other leg.

These imbalances are normal (it’s almost impossible to be fully symmetric) to some degree but if they become significant they can lead to injury.

If we encourage symmetry during exercise and during our daily lives we address these imbalances, decreasing dramatically the possibility for injury.

Examples/ Suggestions:

  • If there is a significant difference in strength between the shoulder extension of the right arm and the left. This will mean that when we do a shoulder press exercise with heavyweights, the weaker side will struggle more than the strong side. Make sure that the weaker side can keep up with the technique, range, and pace of the exercise. If any of the above Is compromised decrease the intensity even if it feels easy on the strong side.
  •  If there’s a significant difference between the flexibility of your right and left Hamstring muscles to spend a bit more time stretching the stiffer side.
  • When you are doing a Lunge exercise make sure that the length, width, and shape is the same for both legs (usually one leg will like to step longer than the other, one leg will like to step wider than the other, the knees and trunk will like to bend differently).
  • When you are doing a chest push-up exercise make sure that you don’t have more weight on one arm than the other, that your face, chest, and hips are square with the floor.

Until next writing,

Adonis Angelides

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