By Christina | August 5, 2009
If you have successfully incorporated resistance training into your workout program, then hats off to you. The next step is to make sure that you are training your body properly to become leaner or larger and stronger. A big mistake most people make when resistance training is to overtrain one part of your body at the expense of another. This not only gives your body disproportionate definition, but makes parts of your body significantly stronger than other parts.
A comprehensive resistance training program should not neglect any part of your body in favor of another. You should be equally strong all over. Physiologically, our bodies are composed of a kinetic chain which means in essence that all of our body parts are interlinked and are not working in isolation. What this means in terms of resistance training is that a strong body is only strong if there are no weak parts. It is not only important to strength train opposing muscle groups like biceps and triceps or hamstrings and quads. But, it is essential to strengthen your entire body.
Men often make the mistake of focusing heavily on their upper body with emphasis on their pecs, shoulders, and abs. Many men mistakenly believe that butt and thigh exercises are solely of the purview of women. The result of this erroneous misconception is that men will walk around with a defined upper body and a scrawny, weak lower body.
A well-toned body is equally defined all over. There are some smaller or lesser known muscle groups such as stabilizer muscles, inner thigh muscles, rotator cuff muscles, and even forearms for example that do not get attention during most resistance training workouts. Include all the obvious muscles when you strength train, but don’t forget to train the less obvious muscles that play a big role in your ability to be functionally strong throughout your body.
One of the reasons the kinetic chain is so important has to do with injury prevention. If you think of the kinetic chain like the paper chains you used to make as a kid, then you will visualize what happens if one of the links is broken. The cliché that you are only as strong as your weakest link is applicable to weight training correctly. If you completely ignore parts of your body when you resistance train, you are opening yourself up to injury in the long run . All parts of our body work together to function properly. If the parts of your body that are strongest are compensating daily for the parts of your body that are weakest, the day will come in the not so distant future, that the strong part of you will become weaker and/or injured because of lack of support from the rest of your body.
Every part of your body needs to be working together in order to properly work for you. For the same reason that you can’t spot reduce when it comes to weight loss, you can’t pick and choose what parts of the body you want to resistance train. When you view your body as a whole entity rather than comprised of certain body parts that you want to favor, you will benefit both in terms of strength and muscle definition. A whole body workout is just that, a workout that challenges your body from head to toe to become as strong as it can be.