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Muscle Balance - Keep your Body Balance in Check

The simplest solution to this problem is to avoid it. This can be done by carefully structuring your programs by choosing exercises that strengthen opposing muscle groups.

Muscle balance

(NIAGRA FALLS) - As I continue to train for what I am hoping will be my next world record attempt, I struggle with trying not to over train key muscle groups tied directly to the record attempt movement. Overtraining select muscle groups leads to body and muscle imbalance and can lead to injury and negative performance. Maintaining body balance is paramount in maintaining an active life or performing at an elite level in any sport and avoiding pain and injury.

Your body is a complex combination of muscles, ligaments, tendon and bones all connected in a specific and balanced fashion. Like the set up on a high performance race car, any imbalance in tire pressures, downdraft ratios or wing set up results in poor performance and a possible breakdown or accident. Your body is set up the same way.

Most people any age don’t realize that there are corresponding muscle groups in your body and that there are ratios of strength for those specific corresponding muscle groups. Muscle pairs include:

  • Biceps and triceps
  • Deltoids and lattisimus dorsi (lats)
  • Pectorals and trapezoids
  • Abdominals and erector spinae
  • Quadricepts and hamstrings
  • Hip abductors and adductors
  • Gastrocnemius (back of your lower leg) and tibialis anterior (front of your lower leg)
  • Iliopsoas (abdomen to hips) and gluteals (gluts)

These muscles work in groups that must be balanced in strength and flexibility, when the balance gets pulled too far in one direction it begins to pull your bones and joints out of proper alignment.

For non-athletes, our daily routines and simple daily activities such as working in the garden, shoveling snow, picking up groceries, working at a computer, sitting in one position for a long time, or lifting a child can cause muscle imbalance over a period of time.

But for elite athletes, muscle imbalance is likely to be an overuse issue as a result of a particular motion used in their respective sports – or over training a muscle group.

  • Weight lifters often develop the pectorals or biceps, while neglecting the muscles in the upper back or triceps.
  • Pitchers in baseball often develop one arm and one side of the side without giving equal attention to the opposite arm/side.
  • In tennis, imbalances develop after years of doing almost every motion with the dominant arm to the detriment of the non-dominant arm.

The simplest solution to this problem is to avoid it. This can be done by carefully structuring your programs by choosing exercises that strengthen opposing muscle groups. Avoidance is always the best answer. The beginning of a simple balanced routine could include:

  1. Cardio or some kind of activity to get the blood flowing and heart rate up before you exercise or stretch
  2. Bench presses (for your chest) and seated rows (for your back)
  3. Bicep curls and dips (triceps)
  4. Squats (hamstrings) and font or hack squats (quads)
  5. Crunches and dumbbell or bent over rows
  6. Leg abductors and leg adductors (normally on a machine)
  7. Always stretch at the end of every workout

If you are already feeling pain or injured, then to correct the muscle imbalance issue you first have to identify which muscles are out of balance. If you suspect that you have a muscle imbalance injury you may need to seek help to identify which groups are over developed or trained. This is most likely a therapist or sports injury doctor. Bottom-line; if you’re not sure seek help.

To find more information on Walter Urban and his World and National records please visit

Walter Urban is a Fifty four (54) years old, American born Powerlifter and Guinness World Record holder and challenger living in Canada. He is a member of one of the strongest drug free Powerlifting Team’s in North America, the Iron Foundation, 19 to 54, male and female. Walter is currently training to attempt breaking two new Guinness World Records in 2012. For more information on Walter visit

Walter Urban’s unique story of motivation and inspiration is supported by a core message of team work – assembling a team, developing a project plan, implementing the plan and executing and adhering to the plan - accomplishing the goal of breaking a Guinness World Record.

The husband and father of three girls 12, 9 and 5 is a US Citizen living and working in Canada. A competitive powerlifter for over 15 years competing in the 75 kg 165 lbs. weight class, Walter was a member of the Canadian Masters Powerlifting Team 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, competing in World Championships in South Africa, Ostrava Czech Republic and Plzen Czech Republic. His best finish was 6th place at the 2010 World Championships in Plzen Czech Republic. Walter has been a dedicated member of GoodLife Fitness Club for over 15 years where he trains regularly.

The World Record was accomplished by developing the “total” athlete as part of the team - mental, physical, internal and external.

Friday September 17 2011: 53-year-old Walter Urban set a new Guinness World Record for the most amount of weight squat lifted in one hour – drug free - on LIVE! with Regis and Kelly. The former record was 125,065 lbs, set in 2009 by a 32-year-old man. Walter’s goal was to lift 126,000 lbs which was to be accomplished by completing 700 to 1000 squats in one hour or 11 to 17 squats per minute for 60 minutes. Not only did he meet his goal, but he surpassed it and lifted 127, 245 lbs! The Guinness World Record representative said that this weight was “equivalent to approximately 20 African Elephants.”

When asked by Regis what motivated Walter to do this, Urban’s reply was “to show that you can be healthy, fit and strong at any age…even into your 90’s. You can be strong without the use of performance enhancing drugs, and finally…he likes a challenge!”

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