Balanced Muscle Strength and Proper Muscle Length

Posted On: October 18, 2011

When I graduated from the Logan College of Chiropractic back in1987, there were not a lot of chiropractic physicians teaching exercises to their patients. As a former college wrestler and a multiple letter athlete, this just didn’t make any sense to me.

Early in my practice as a chiropractic physician I started giving simple home exercises to my patients. I then started drawing up sheets of exercises for my patients to do. Soon I had patients asking me to help design rehabilitation and exercise programs for them and for their families.

At that time there was one private physical therapist in Lake Forest, the physical therapy department at Lake Forest Hospital and no personal trainers to speak of in Lake Forest.

I offered my services as an injury prevention consultant to the aerobics program at the 41 Sports Club in Highland Park and the aerobics program at the Lake Forest Recreation Center. This eventually led me to teach cross training to the aerobic dance industry on the national level.

My premise was simple: that every body part needed balanced muscular strength to support its function. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s most fitness professionals were focusing on abdominal strengthening to strengthen the spine and were ignoring the lower back musculature. I lead those that I taught to train the spinal extensor musculature along with the abdominal musculature. I also promoted squat training to develop the gluteal musculature, quadriceps and hamstrings.

I also taught stretching of tight musculature, which can lead to postural imbalances. Though I was exposed to the principles of dynamic stretching, I always found static stretching to be more effective to increase muscular length in my patients.

Now in 2011 I find it interesting that so many people are turning to core strengthening, Pilates and yoga to augment their health. Fitness instructors are certainly much better trained than when I first entered in the industry, but there are still many people building muscular imbalances in their clients. As one who has worked long and hard in the field of orthopedic rehabilitation helping thousands of individuals, I am going to stick to the principles that have served my patients so well. Those principles are balanced muscle strength and proper muscle length to allow for optimum musculoskeletal function.

To schedule an appointment, please call our Lake Forest, Lake Bluff office at 847.295.0920, or our Highland Park office at 847.432.4077. You may also use our online Request an Appointment form.

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