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Structural Balance: Muscle Equality and Flexibility

Ben Patrick, [30/07/2022 01:57]

Structural Balance: the theoretical state in which each muscle in the body is as strong and flexible as it should be, and is equally balanced between sides of the body.

“Structural Balance” is a term coined by the late Charles Poliquin. One of the earliest mentions of the term first hit the internet back in May 14, 1999 on one of his contributions to T-Nation’s articles titled “Achieving Structural Balance,” where he discusses the benefits of becoming structurally balanced using examples with the upper body.

He later wrote an article titled “What Serious Athletes Must Know About Step-ups.” Here, Poliquin defines Structural Balance and states:

“Structural balance refers to the major muscles of the body being in balance with each other. This means balance between opposing muscle pairs (such as the biceps and triceps for the arms, and quadriceps and hamstrings for the legs) and also between the limbs (such as the right leg and the left leg). So, it’s not enough just to have the proper strength ratio between the hamstrings and quadriceps, for example, but the strength of the quadriceps and hamstrings on the right leg should be equal to the strength of those muscles on the left leg.”

A very common example of this would be an athlete that can deadlift a truck, yet experiences knee pain while working a bodyweight step up. This is a clear structural imbalance between posterior chain (back/glutes/hamstring/calves) strength, and weakness/lack of training of the antagonist muscles of the posterior chain, such as the VMO & Tibialis.

⬆️ Written by the maestro Marcel

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