Are you familiar with the cartoon character Popeye? He’s the pipe-smoking sailor man that eats cans of spinach in order to get huge biceps. While his arms are certainly admirable after consuming a certain amount of healthy leafy greens, they’re largely out of proportion with the rest of his body, which could cause him a number of issues if he were in fact a real person.
The Negatives of an Imbalanced Body
Of course, the most notable effect of not balancing the muscles that you build with your exercise routine is that your body isn’t going to be asymmetrical. This means that you’ll look out of proportion with some muscles being fit and trim while others are lacking in development.
However, physical appearance isn’t the only concern. When you don’t adequately train and tone opposing muscle groups, you risk injury. As one side gets stronger, it places undue pressure on the other side, increasing the likelihood that you’ll do some damage to your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones.
Opposing Muscle Groups
Some of the most common opposing muscle groups that need to be worked in conjunction with each other are your biceps and triceps, thighs and hamstrings, abdominals and lower back. Each time you work one, you need to work the other so they can continue to support each other and work together in unison.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to lift the same amount of weights with each opposing muscle group as that is relatively impossible. For instance, you may be able to lift a 10, 20, or 30 pound dumbbell with your biceps but be able to press 50 or 60 pounds when working your triceps.
This is okay. As long as you work the opposing muscle groups and build them at the same rate, you’ll be fine. Just make sure you build them.