“Now do your other side” is a common sentence you will hear from your instructor. Perhaps you have heard me say why it’s important to train your other side in class, or maybe you haven’t. Its extremely easy to favour your dominant side in pole or aerial arts because we have developed so much strength on our “good side” and we want our moves to look their best. Think of how much easier it is to complete because our brain get’s it and we are more coordinated on our good side. But what happens to our bodies if we constantly train our good side?
I know it, I emphasize it, I am trained in the fitness industry… but do I do it? With teaching on average 15 classes a week plus some of my own training it’s easy for me to demonstrate my good side each time because it takes less effort. By doing this I am creating muscle imbalances and the verdict is… I feel it and my Doctors see it too! I can go deep into my past injuries but the bottom line is muscle imbalances cause injury too! Think of your body and draw a line down the center… now picture all of your moves on your dominant side and all the muscles you use… your obliques, your lats, your biceps, pecs, glutes, etc. Think of how often they get worked, lifting your body weight each time. Now envision not working your other side. It becomes clear that muscles on your good side are going to be stronger and pull and twist your skeletal system. This causes pain, sleep disturbances, and improper posture thus allowing your body to not function to it’s max capacity which causes all around fatigue.
Now let’s focus on upper body versus our lower half. Again, in the Aerial world it is easy to forget to work on our lower half since we are so focused on lifting our body weight. The fact of the matter is we need those lower half muscles too for leg hangs, holds, etc. I have had the ultimate privilege to know the difference between a stronger upper body versus lower body. In figure skating I had strong legs and glutes but now my life consists of a strong upper body and core. Recently, I have shifted my focus and have been working on my lower half – hence all those squats I have included in your lessons each week! I have noticed a drastic change in my overall body performance and posture. No doubt, it’s a work in progress and like any other fitness achievement it takes time to see changes. There are ways to fix your muscle imbalances but the main prevention is to equally train your body and not to forget to do your other side.
Keep calm and pole on my friends!