Lifting weights

Lifting weights can be beneficial for improving strength and neuromuscular control, but can also lead to muscle imbalance and postural dysfunction. Performing weighted lifts in a dysfunctional posture trains the body to adopt that posture throughout the day. Likewise, performing exercises in a balanced posture can help with daily function.

Neck Position

A common pattern is the head coming forward during upper body lifts. This can lead to tension in the neck and shoulders over time and can strengthen the top of the shoulder disproportionately. Be mindful of head position by using the Head Retraction exercise while you perform upper body lifts to reduce the risk of imbalanced formation.

Upper Back Position

Try to make sure the upper back does not round during lifts. Do this by drawing the shoulder blades together and keeping the chest up. Make sure the lower back does not arch excessively as you bring the shoulder blades together. Maintaining mobility in the chest and upper back with exercises like the Fulcrum Extension and Chest Stretch can be helpful to achieve this.

Lumbopelvic Position

Try not to load the lower back in an excessively arched or rounded position during lifts. It will tend to arch excessively to take advantage of the lumbar spine muscles, or slump when parts of the back are weak. By attempting to maintain a neutral pelvic position, the core stabilisers are challenged and the muscles of the hip and trunk work more effectively.

Engage in a balanced exercise program

Try to diversify the exercises you are doing at the gym to target all major muscle groups in different ways. Make sure you are doing an equal amount of exercises that involve pushing and pulling with the arms and legs. Mix up the tempo of exercises so that some are done in an explosive manner and others are done more slowly and with control. Avoid doing just the exercises you are good at, as this will strengthen muscles that are already strong while neglecting underactive groups. Finally, make sure you include stretching and mobility exercises in your program.

Read more about balanced physical activity.