Balanced Training for a Balanced Body
Creating a weight-training routine isn’t always straightforward and simple. It’s easy to focus on how much you’re lifting from one week to the next, to neglect certain body parts or just to favor one part of your body over the other.
It’s also easy to forget that your muscles aren’t flat, one-dimensional things. They’re three-dimensional and you need to take a 360° approach to training them. This is absolutely necessary, not only for the health and strength of the muscle, but for the symmetry and definition that take a body from good to amazing.
Working Your Muscles from All Angles
If you think about it, we’re accustomed to this approach when it comes to abs. We do leg lifts to engage the lower abs, cross crunches to shape the obliques and incline crunches to work those upper abs. However, we sometimes forget that the other muscle groups are just as complex and require just as much diversification to really get results.
Horizontal and Vertical Movements
When you’re planning out a balanced workout, it’s helpful to think of the necessary components as yin and yang for your muscles. You should be doing both horizontal and vertical movements, pushing and pulling, adduction and abduction when you work each of your muscle groups.
This doesn’t mean that you need to add another twenty minutes or six more sets to every workout. If you’re like most women, you’re probably doing at least some redundant exercises, some of which can be switched out for a move that will work the muscle from another angle or plane of motion. For instance, instead of triceps presses and triceps extensions, you might cut the presses and do kickbacks instead.
When you’re looking at various moves to include in your workout, you should choose one, then choose another that includes movement in the opposing direction in order to work the rest of the muscle. You might take longer to reach muscle failure (only slightly longer, really), but you’ll be getting a more complete, more effective workout.
The Beauty of Balance
A great set of abs isn’t just made up of a flat stomach. Flat stomachs are nice, but you can achieve that with very little muscle tone. Instead, a really beautiful set of abs consists of a flat and strong lower abdominal area, those great six pack cuts in the upper abs and a tiny waist, all achieved by working from different angles and in different planes.
The same results will show up in your shoulders, on your back, with your thighs, when you use a more balanced, 360° approach to those groups. You’ll see finer definition and also get the symmetry you need, shoulders to waist, waist to hips to create a beautiful physique, regardless of your figure “flaws.”
Check out my post, Creating a Balanced Workout for more specific help with including opposing movements for each muscle group. Not only will your results be much better, but you’ll also be able to see progress much more quickly.
FULL-BODY-LICIOUS is all about creating a balanced body with the techniques used above. Check out the entire thing here: