Muscle Imbalances

I have a friend who is way more flexible than I am. She can do her front splits and side splits on cold muscles. I’ve always been envious of her natural flexibility, especially because she sometimes like to tease me because I’m the dancer, yet she’s way more bendy. And tonight, I was thinking about why she is more flexible than me. I’ve basically convinced myself that flexibility is not genetic, so I had to come up with another reason. And then I realized, she is also way stronger than me. She’s a swimmer and has the muscles to prove it. Not to mention, the body builders and super buff people I’ve seen on TV also seem to be more flexible than me.

I really think a huge impediment to my flexibility is my muscular weakness. I keep stretching my muscles but it does no good because my muscular weaknesses and imbalances are tightening them up as soon as I quit stretching. Back and abdominal strength is seriously important for supporting your spine. So when the body doesn’t have enough strength in those areas, is steals it from other places – namely your hamstrings and hip flexors. All this overcompensation causes those muscles to become tight. And don’t forget that tight hamstrings and hip flexors also contribute to lower back pain.

So basically, I haven’t been to the gym since December of last year, and I’ve been out of ballet for like 3 months now. My core muscles are seriously lacking. I have horrible posture because my back isn’t strong enough to support my torso. I really think if I strengthen my abs and back, my stretching will at least become more effective and long lasting. I honestly need to strengthen my entire body. I think I’d find things would become much easier with stronger muscles.

I have to admit I’ve been slacking off on my stretching routine these past 2 weeks, but I’m going to start back everyday again. I’m thinking I’ll add some strengthening exercises to help with my flexibility. And then when college starts up and I have access to a full gym and other exercise facilities, I’ll really get into shape. Hopefully I’ll be able to maintain my stretching routine in college as well. Instead of focusing on flexibility specifically, I really need to focus on overall health instead. I think a lot of times, we don’t realize how complicated flexibility is. So many things relate to and depend on it. The body is a well oiled machine, and if just one thing is off – it can affect the entire operation.

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