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No Gym? No Problem

The effects of corona virus have caused facilities like gyms and arenas to close and as a result, many of us are left without access to training equipment, space, and a place of relaxation or solace. Although there are many exercises to do at home that are substitute to the ones available at your gym, chances are you still lack the range of equipment that could fully optimize your workout to its full extent. Of course, you could spend a good amount of money and invest in home gym equipment but it will be expensive and you may still lack the space.

In order to capitalize on a seemingly disadvantageous position (of not having access to proper facilities), we must change our way of looking at the situation. We may not be able to hit our squat PRs but what can we do instead? What can you work on now that you don’t have the allure of the bench press and the dumbbell that would otherwise distract you from performing the exercises you should really be doing to keep your body balanced and healthy?

Most athletes focus on achieving macro-level goals involving physique or performance and perform exercises that encourage one or the other. However, we sometimes neglect to train certain muscles that are integral to balancing the body and preventing injury. Most commonly, these muscles are normally the smaller ones that are hidden away or not visible (ie. on your back) as we have a tendency of not focusing on what we cannot see. However, this also includes larger imbalances like in cases when an athlete has a noticeably stronger upper or lower body depending on their sport. Any muscular imbalances on the body on whatever scale will result in a decrease in your overall physical performance as other muscles are forced to work harder to overcompensate. This creates stress. Over years, improper form and existing imbalances can cause changes in physical posture and increased areas of imbalances are more prone to injury as they are less flexible. It could also hinder the activation of other muscles in exercises because of the way your muscles now interact or the way that they are used to moving.

Luckily, the human body is adaptable in both directions and with the proper exercises targeting the weaker muscle of the imbalance, your body will experience positive differences in posture, flexibility, and performance in other exercises as a result of the correction within a few weeks. The important thing is to continue with these exercises even after the gyms open up: your body will not preserve muscles or abilities. Some muscles that are generally weaker are the rear deltoid, the erector spinae (lower back area), areas of the upper back that are “tight”, obliques and serratus, and calves. The back muscles are especially important for posture. Flexibility is also something that many people lack and is integral to injury prevention. It also can be attained with consistent stretching.

So don’t be discouraged that you're at home! Focus on the neglected muscles and you will see unexpected benefits in other areas as a result of it. The body is connected in many different ways and an improvement in one area will benefit another.


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