Hooked on a Look ( Dysfunctional Exercise)
Chris Hemsworth, Gal Gadot, Kim K, Chris Evans, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill, The Rock, Scarlett Johansson, Fitness Influencers, etc. What do they all have in common? They are trying to sell you on what it looks like to be fit. Where does chasing that fitness "look" actually get you though? For times sake I'm going to ignore the dietary aspects because, let's be honest, none of us got time or money to eat like them. Instead, we are going to focus on the exercise aspect coupled with normal daily life.
Guys, the fit look means you gotta have the chiseled chest, right? Let's explore the common dysfunctions associated with chest and desk work. Due to the American lifestyle, we typically have rounded shoulders -due to poor posture and chest tightness. Rounded shoulders go hand and hand with a forward head. This dysfunction leads to neck, shoulder, and back problems. The more you work the chest to achieve that look, the tighter or more over active those muscles get, increasing your chance of injury.
Ladies, is it not all about the booty? Again, let's look at a common dysfunction with this muscle group combined with your normal 9-5 day. Staying with the amount of sitting you do because of your work lifestyle, you will typically experience a forward pelvic tilt. A forward pelvic tilt puts a strain on your lower back (Because.) In order to get the glutes to activate with a forward pelvic tilt, you have to go into hyperextension. Hyper extending this muscle group puts even more pressure on the lower back -resulting in almost constant lower back pain. Since your glutes aren't firing correctly, other muscles try to help, which ends up causing you to overload muscles like the glute medius and piriformis.
Now for both men and women, you got to have the arms and abs right? Can't go wrong there huh? Well actually, no. That is wrong. Here's the RAW deal, both guys and gals alike deal with the same issues -rounded shoulders and forward tilts. (A more medical term would be upper cross syndrome.) Having a forward head and rounded shoulders automatically causes your body to compensate by tilting your pelvis forward to maintain an upright position, and shuts off those glutes. Why is this important? Well, your biceps insert into your rounded shoulders, and your abs originate from your tilted pelvis. Thus, when curling, you are inadvertently causing the shoulders to pull forward some more. Additionally, due to the fact that your abs insert into your ribs, aka the "upper abdominal's", you are over activating this muscle group when doing things like crunches or roll ups, while the "lower abdominal's" are basically shut off. So you are effectively only working half your abdominal because of the forward tilt. I know I skipped shoulders and tricep workouts. Well, working out with rounded shoulders can cause further trouble, not just with your shoulders, but also your upper traps. (Your traps are already over stressed because of that forward head...) What about those triceps though? Any dysfunction to look out for there? Actually, no. However, let's look at the way we work triceps. Skull crushers, dips, kick backs, rope extension, etc. If you pay attention, most of the time when you are doing tricep exercises, your shoulders are rounded. Where the exercise itself isn't harmful, you are continuing to reinforce the rounding of your shoulders.
Now I'm not saying wanting to achieve a look is bad. How you go about it is what really matters. If you don't fix your current dysfunction, you won't be doing your body any good. I will say this, you would do yourself and your body more good by going for function over appearances. Remember we live in the real world, we have jobs and their job is to maintain an image. So until next time keep it RAW