I have previously posted about the connection between the pelvis and the shoulder and how one can affect the other. But I made a mistake. I used the word 'Weak' without giving a complete definition. And that's because I can't. I can't define a 'weak' muscle. Just as I can't define a 'tight' muscle. So if someone tells you that you have a 'weak' this or a 'tight' that, ask them…."WHY is it that way?" Because THAT is what you need to know. WHY a muscle is that way.
Right, let me explain what I'm rambling on about. So you've been told that you have a 'weak' muscle. Ok, so WHY is it 'weak'?
Is it 'weak' because it's in spasm? If a muscle is in spasm it means that the muscle fibres have forgotten how to relax properly.
Is a muscle inhibited? If it is inhibited it may be because the antagonist (the opposite muscle) is preventing it from contracting and so it feels 'weak'.
Is it 'weak' because it's fibrotic meaning the muscle fibres are 'glued' together?
Now I have done just this in the past, if someone came to me with a 'weak' area I would automatically provide them with strengthening exercises. Thankfully becoming a Biomechanics Coach helped me to question my motives.
If a muscle is 'weak' because it's in spasm, then it simply means it needs reminding how to relax. We do this with a muscle release. And if we remind the muscle how to relax, the fibres will be free to contract again. So that 'weak' muscle may not be 'weak' after all.
If a muscle is 'weak' because it's inhibited then strengthening is not going to help. In this instance we need to release the muscle that is inhibiting the 'weak' muscle. And if we release the muscle that is doing the inhibiting this means that the 'weak' muscle is no long inhibited. And if it's no longer inhibited then it can contract again. And if it can contract again does this mean that it's still 'weak'? See where I'm going with all this?
Yes potentially once you have released a muscle that is in spasm, or a muscle that is inhibiting another then the 'weak' muscle may still have a true weakness. But until we get to this point how can we be sure?
So how about a muscle that is fibrotic? Is it 'weak' if it's glued together? If it has adhesions? I guess you could say it would feel 'weak' because they are unable to contract. But if the muscle fibres are glued together, would strengthening the muscle be the best thing to do? Of course not. All you'll end up doing is making the fibres that aren't glued together work even more to compensate for the fibrotic ones. As you can imagine that probably isn't going to end well. However, if we break up the adhesions (the bits that are glued together) then the fibres will be able to contract again. So is the muscle 'weak'? Maybe. Maybe not. But without breaking up the adhesions first strengthening is pointless.
Now maybe a muscle is truly 'weak' and it does need strengthening. But I hope you now understand that when something feels 'weak' or if someone tells you that it's 'weak' then the next step is to ask….WHY?
Because only then will you know what your next step needs to be.
But what about 'Tight' muscles? Well you'll have to wait for that post!