Any exercise affects some muscles more than others. The idea we are talking about here is that pain is caused by body imbalances. Thus, the best exercises are those that strengthen weak areas.
Consider the single-hand push-up against the wall. For this exercise, you stand about two feet from the wall, and put one hand on the wall. Bend and straighten the arm. The exercise will strengthen the shoulder, arm, and side of the upper back. Next, consider the dumbbell swing. Here the person takes a five or ten-pound dumbbell in one hand and swings it from below up to the chest. The exercise will lower the given shoulder.
Part of my Dad’s problem that he sought Bernie’s help for, was a muscle imbalance of the shoulders. He had a tense and over-developed right shoulder, and a weak and lower left shoulder. To correct this imbalance, Bernie prescribed single-hand dumbbell swings for the right shoulder, and single-hand push-ups against the wall for the left shoulder.
Similarly, my Dad’s left leg was noticeably weaker than his right leg. Single leg hops and single knee bends strengthen a weak leg. So, he does those exercises for his left leg. However, his right leg is more tense, and stiff. So, when he stretches by doing forward bends, he spends more time over his right leg. In both cases of the legs, it is obvious which side needs work. For the single-leg hops and single knee bends, the left side will be harder. The goal is to make the weak side equal to the strong side.
Often it is clear there is an imbalance between the sides. One knee may be weak, one shoulder is painful, one leg may not be as strong as the other, or one arm may not reach as well as the other. It is important that this problem not become worse, so exercise to correct the situation if possible.
Suppose one knee is weak or painful if moved the wrong way. The goal is to find the exercise that corrects the everyday movement pattern that is causing the situation. Perhaps the foot is turned out, or the step is not pushing the knee to hold forward. Or maybe the knee is caving inward. There is no need to exercise the other knee. Work on the problem knee. It is that one that will limit you.
For more information on exercising to improve weaknesses, visit www.painalleviated.com
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