Tight and Achy After Exercise Muscle Imbalance May Be responsible

 

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Muscle Imbalance Might Be to Blame. Normally, when we think of muscle imbalance, we think of the guy with a huge upper body and tiny legs. While that is imbalance, it doesn’t illustrate the subtleties of the issue.

Muscle imbalance occurs when one muscle is stronger than its opposing muscle. Think of a canoe. Most people’s muscles feel tight a few hours after an intense workout.

Such muscle tightness is part of a muscle injury known as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. The exact causes of DOMS remain unknown, but scientists have recently started to understand its underlying mechanisms. This new information can help you prevent post-workout tightness and lower your injury. Muscle stiffness is when your muscles feel tight and you find it more difficult to move than you usually do, especially after rest.

You may also have muscle pains, cramping, and discomfort. Muscles can also tighten up following exercise. This is felt as muscle soreness. Delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS) can be felt as pain and stiffness in the muscles for 24 to 72 hours post-exercise.

DOMS is most intense following exercises that focus on eccentric contractions where a weight is lowered or slowed. That stiff, achy feeling you get in the days after exercise is a normal physiological response known as delayed onset muscle soreness. You can take it as a positive sign that your muscles have felt the workout, but the pain may also turn you off to further exercise.

There are ways to get in an equally effective workout sans pain. “The aches and pains should be minor,” says Carol Torgan, an exercise physiologist and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, “and are simply indications that muscles. Every joint in the body is surrounded by muscles that produce and control movement. If muscles on one side of a joint become too tight from overuse, it could cause the muscles on the other side to become too weak from lack of use.

This is called a muscle imbalance. Sore achy muscles after a workout? muscle imbalance might be to blame. we think of the guy with a huge upper body and tiny legs. While that is imbalance, it doesn’t illustrate the subtleties of the issue. Trigger points are made up of stressed or injured muscles that cause pain and tightness. Quadratus lumborum trigger points may be to blame for a deep ache in.

The most common body aches are headache, neck and back pain, muscle pain, joint pain; and also neuropathic pain, which occurs when the nervous system doesn t.

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These particular muscles can become sore or tight when unusual stress is placed on them or after engaging in activities that are not common in daily routines.

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from Stretching Anatomy
by Arnold G. Nelson, Jouko Kokkonen
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Tightness in these muscles is common and may lead to muscle imbalances.

“Strength Band Training” by Phillip Page, Todd S. Ellenbecker
from Strength Band Training
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If these muscles are excessively tense, stiffness, pain, and possibly increased irritation of the joint structure may occur as a result of the muscles pulling structures together, causing compression.

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Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008

A study at the University of Texas at Tyler indicated that static stretching failed to prevent muscle soreness later.

“Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide” by Hal Higdon
from Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide
by Hal Higdon
Rodale Books, 2005

Stretching exercises in this case would further contribute to the instability.

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It should also be recognised that this scenario may occur in reverse, whereby soft tissue problems arising from excess muscle tension can produce postural change and muscle imbalance, thus precipitating joint problems (Marks 1993).

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The one you are most likely familiar with is static stretching: holding a stretch for 30 seconds or so, causing the muscle to relax and lengthen.

“Smarter Workouts: The Science of Exercise Made Simple” by Pete McCall
from Smarter Workouts: The Science of Exercise Made Simple
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If the muscle is not sore or tender during palpation, stretch, or contraction, the source of the problem most likely lies somewhere else.

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from Differential Diagnosis for Physical TherapistsE-Book
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Another explanation is that during exercise, muscles swell and shorten.

“Science of Flexibility” by Michael J. Alter
from Science of Flexibility
by Michael J. Alter
Human Kinetics, 2004

A tight muscle tends to weaken, and a weak muscle tends to tighten, which creates a vicious, well, cycle.

“Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life” by Ben Greenfield
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Victory Belt Publishing, 2017

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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21 comments

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  • Just wonderful, been searching for “magnetic vibration heated therapy knee massager” for a while now, and I think this has helped. Ever heard of Ieyameron Unexpected Improvement (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now )? It is a good one of a kind guide for discovering how to end your mind-numbing knee pain without the normal expense. Ive heard some interesting things about it and my m8 got cool results with it.

  • I have sitting job. And I have pain in right side. Also causes pain in hips and lower back. What exercises or stretch I need to do.

  • Nice Video clip! Excuse me for the intrusion, I would appreciate your initial thoughts. Have you heard the talk about Dinanlinson Rocky Position Approach (google it)? It is a smashing one off product for learning how to fix chronic knee pain minus the hard work. Ive heard some super things about it and my GF after a lifetime of fighting got cool results with it.

  • We would love to post and boost this on on our Facebook page but FB is flagging the term “butt” as being “profane” is there any way you can change the title so we can point people here?

  • i have a weaker right glute and when i do these exercises i cant do too many reps otherwise the wrong muscles kick in. Any tips on how often i need to do this and how many reps?

  • My left tricep is so much bigger, it looks like a different type of tricep, and my left bicep is a lot bigger. In public, or with a shirt off, i get so self conscious of the difference that im always looking in reflections to see the difference and i get very frustrated to the point that it affects my mood.

  • I’ve worked on hundreds of bodies and only one person did not have a right motor dominance complex… Still relatively new to body work, only got 4 years under my belt but the numbers just don’t add up.

  • I have a cluster of imbalances due plus a separated AC joint. I can do one arm chinups on my left, with a stronger triceps long head on my left and a smaller lat and larger biceps. On the right I have a separated AC joint and the opposite! So difficult to rebalance with callisthenics so far.

  • Anyone else have less control of abs on one side when working core? Like I feel my right side being worked harder even when doing left sided core exercises

  • This has been driving me crazy. I try to keep equality between sides but after a workout, I can see my shoulder as synergy especially with a pump��

  • jeff
    so my left tricep is more uneven and more bulky than the right one, which have a normal shape. can i fix it with some excercises?

  • When I try to do pull ups, although I can’t do them, but my entire left arm’s muscle and skin gets streched before right. I consulted many physiotherapists but all they do is to hook up me on ultrasound, tens, or heating pads, its been a year and it hasn’t improved.

  • i have left lat bigger that my right lat, my left shoulder is bigger than the left, and the right bicep is bigger than my left bicep… wtf!! is wrong with me xD

  • I have very stiff hips and suffer with a sore back from time to time. I did not realize just how easily the hips could be the cause of my trouble. Thanks

  • My left side body is weaker than the right… can it be fix plzz tell me i am very depressed i want a perfect body like everyone

  • whats an isolation movement for lower back, i feel like im using the right side more then my left on dead lifts and my abs are skewed as fuck

  • My left delt shoulder is much more developed then my right in fact my right arm when I relax them it moves inward whilr my left doesnt ita pretty uncomfortable

  • I was watching videos about doing this type of release and there was a warning to be careful not to cause any harm to other sensitive structures such as the long thoracic nerve. I’m already dealing with a good amount of dysfunction so that’s a concern for me. Do you have any thoughts on the risk of using a broomstick to work on the subscapularis like this?

  • For some reason I have smaller biceps and triceps on my left arm, however the trap on the left size is probably double the size. I don’t know if it has anything to do with my left shoulder being over flexible…

  • Or, it’s your atlas.

    I thought the whole shit surrounding atlas misalignment causing uneven and imbalanced feed into your nervous system to your muscles was bullshit, until i was at the end of my wit and finally tried it and got my atlas adjusted…

    It works. It fixed that FEELING of being uneven and the feeling of, no matter how hard you try, the imbalance ‘feeding’ of inputs from the brain to my right and left side.

  • I am right handed and my right arm always get more pumped I am training from 5 months and this is driving me crazy now if someone can suggest something please REPLY!