Muscle balance is important.
If you don’t strengthen opposing (antagonistic) muscle groups, you may experience chronic pain or injury because of it.
For example: If you strengthen your stomach and forget to strengthen your back, your back may start to hurt because the back won’t be able to compete with the stronger abs.
Another example: If you strengthen your quadriceps (the front of your thigh) and forget to strengthen your hamstrings (the back of the thigh) you may end up pulling your hamstring or injuring your patella because the strength of the quadriceps will be so much greater than the strength of the hamstrings.
Opposing muscles work together, and if they’re not balanced regarding strength level, it’s not a fair competition. One of the muscles will get injured.
Often, the reason people stay away from working the opposing muscle is because it’s too difficult. Most of the muscles we work in the gym are the ones on the front of our bodies, because we use them more in everyday life. Because we use them more, they are already stronger, and thus, it’s easier to work them out.
But the muscles on the backside of our bodies are weaker, because we NEVER use them – the upper and lower back, posterior deltoids (back of the shoulder), butt and the hamstrings.
Muscles on the sides of our bodies also tend to be weak, because they don’t typically get used in everyday life – medial deltoids (sides of the shoulder), obliques (sides of the body between the rib and hips) and the outer and inner thighs.
Example of a workout where opposing muscle groups are worked:
– Hamstring Curls followed by Leg Extensions
– Tricep Extensions followed by Bicep Curls
– Chest Press followed by Seated Row
– Back Extensions followed by Crunches
– Hip Adduction followed by Hip Abduction
– Hollow Body Hold followed by Deadlifts
– Barbell Wrist Curls followed by Reverse Wrist Curls
– Squats followed by Hamstring Curls on a Stability Ball
Do yourself a favor and work the opposing muscle group! If you’re going to workout your biceps, workout your triceps too. If you’re going to strengthen your quadriceps, you gotta strengthen your hamstrings as well.