Out of Harmony
Antagonist and agonist muscles face each other and have opposite functions. Think of biceps and triceps: while one muscle contracts, the other relaxes. Unfortunately, for most people, these muscles do not live in perfect harmony.
Individual genetics, training styles, exercise habits, and poor posture all contribute to this unequal harmony by making certain muscles dominate their peers. That is problematic. The dominant muscles will restrict the development of opposing muscles and may even cause movement / posture problems.
In general, the dominant muscles are located on the front chain (the front of your body), which limits the full activation of the muscles of the back chain (back of your body). That is why some people feel that their breasts are stronger than their backs when climbing. Not ideal.
Overly dominant muscles are like annoying couples who always attract attention even when they are at another wedding. Mating a soft tissue / distension drill with an isolation exercise. The soft tissue teaser deactivates the dominant muscle and the isolation exercise targets the lagging muscle so that it is fully stimulated without involvement of the formerly dominant counterpart.
Not only is it suitable for weak muscle growth, it also creates symmetry and mobility enhancement.
Here are five effective Inhibit-Activ supersets for common imbalances. Perform the first exercise for about 1
1 – Hip flexor foam roller + hip joint
- A1. Hüftbeugeschaumrolle
- A2. Hip Thrust
2 – Quad Foam Roll + Hamstring Machine
- A1. Quad Foam Roll
- A2. Hamstring curl machine
3 – Soft tissue anterior shoulder + delt flye
- A1. Anterior soft tissue
- A2. Delt Flye
4 – Door Frame Strain & Cable Series
- A1. Doorway Stretch Stretch
- A2. Cable Row
5 – Smith Machine Trap Deactivation + Lateral Lifting
This does not fix an imbalance between an agonist and an antagonist muscle, but the concept is the same. The upper traps dominate the medial delta exercises, so disabling the traps from side elevations is a great way to feel your medial delts have some effect.
- A1. Smith Machine Trap Deactivation
- A2. Lateral Lifting
When to Do It
Either perform a superset replacement once or twice during your warm up to tighten the key muscles during the connection, or at the end of your workout for 3-4 sets as a finisher.
For each superset you should feel less of the involvement of the dominant muscle. The trailing muscle will gain more freedom of movement and be able to activate more.
The 4 most effective supersets for arms
Facts and fiction for foam rolling