Modern day living, like sitting in chairs and slumped over a desk, has jacked up our bodies. We’re out of balance. We move in ways humans weren’t meant to. We’ve become less mobile. More prone to injury. Weaker.
And it only gets worse as you age …
… unless you do something about it.
In this article, you’ll learn how to spot imbalances so they can be fixed.
The most likely cause of injury or worsening movement patterns as you age (think of an elderly person walking with a slight limp even though they’ve never been “injured”) is not caused by weakness or tightness. It’s caused by imbalance.
As an example, when the hips are out of balance — very common — your core begins to compensate for left-right imbalances. You likely don’t notice it immediately, but after 10 years of overcompensating, you may start to feel pain in your back.
The medical profession chalks this up to old age. They say it’s bound to happen. And most give you some [seemingly] quick fix like medicine or surgery. They never get to the root of the problem and fix the cause. (Luckily, we have some local medical professionals — many of them train at our gym — that are passionate about fixing the problem and will take the time and energy to fix the root, not simply put a band-aid on it.)
Fixing Imbalances by Comparing Your Squat, Deadlift and Olympic Lifts
If your hamstrings are much, much stronger than your quads, this imbalance could lead to major issues with your knees, back and hips. Maybe not immediately, but anything we neglect will catch up with us.
One way to fix imbalances like this is to look at strength ratios.
An example of a strength ratio is comparing your front squat to your back squat. A front squat to back squat ratio of 85% is a great measure of an overall balanced and symmetrical body.
Also, the ability to back squat your body weight is a measure of a solid foundation of strength and stability.
Following are the strength ratios that are a sign of a well balanced body.
If you’re lacking in these areas, we’d love to help. We’ll put together a supplemental program for you to improve in certain areas and become more balanced.
Strength Ratios and Minimum Strength to be Well Balanced
To have a minimum solid base, your initial goal is to achieve these strength number:
Back squat your body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, your first goal is to squat 150 pounds. This will take time. Don’t rush. A little improvement each week will get you there soon enough.
Deadlift your bodyweight for ladies and guys 1.25 times your body weight.
Complete 3 reps of strict pull ups
Once these are achieved, your goal will be to hit the following ratios. As your strength continues to improve, you’ll want to work to always keep these in balance.
Your max back squat weight determines where all your other numbers should be.
• Front squat should be 85% of your back squat.
• Deadlift should be 125% of your back squat.
• Power clean should be 66% of back squat.
• Power snatch should be 51% of back squat.
• For upper body strength, your strict press should be 65% of your max weighted pull up. Calculate your max weighted pull up by adding your body weight to the amount of weight you lifted. If you weight 100 pounds and did a pull up with an additional 20 pounds, your max is 100+20=120 pounds.
The Good News…
If you’re out of balance, it can be fixed. And it’s a good thing you caught it now instead of in 20 years when it could be too late.
The training we do at our gym will get you very close to the minimum strength numbers and the proper ratios. Much closer than the average population.
However, sometimes you may want supplemental work to strengthen certain areas. If you’ve been training for at least 6 months and feel you need help in addition to the regular classes, that’s what we’re here for. Shoot me an email and I’ll put together a supplemental program for you. It’s included in your membership. firstname.lastname@example.org