Our expert advice was recently featured the health and fitness section of Men's Journal! The quickie fix, as detailed in the article, "Tight Hamstrings: Workouts Moves to Get you Back in Balance" is a hamstring stretch that every man and woman can benefit from doing.
Though this part of the interview was not published, the first question that the reporter asked us was:
What are two or three of the most common body imbalances/issues that you see among men (aside from three already mentioned—hunched shoulders, tight hips and unequal leg strength)?"
Elizabeth Pongo wrote: "The most common muscle imbalance that we see among men is a weak core, and overactive superficial muscles, on the exterior of the body. Most people recruit their gross superficial muscles, instead of their deep intrinsic stabilization muscle.
Tight hamstrings are probably the second most common muscle imbalance among men, after weak core. This is an important issue to address, because tight hamstrings pull on the pelvis. This destabilizes the pelvis and leads to lower back pain. When the body is seated, the hamstrings are contracted. When amuscle is contracted, it is naturally shorter. Short muscles have a quicker activation threshold. They begin to contract more frequently. Left unattended to, they get shorter and tighter as we age.
Another common muscular issue is tight calves. Interestingly, this is also often due to a weak core, as well as faulty movement patterns. When the foot hits the ground, the body must absorb the impact of ground reaction forces. If the muscles that surround the spine and the center of gravity are not actively engaged, the calves overcompensate in order stabilize the body. This leads to cramping. It can also destabilize the ankle and foot.