Did you know Usain, the greatest sprinter in the world, has scoliosis and a right leg that is 1/2″ shorter than his left leg?
His right leg strikes the ground with 13% more vertical force (by far the largest imbalance seen so far in elite sprinters) and spends 14% less time on the ground than his left leg.
I admit that more often than not, I feel pretty dysfunctional and let past injuries or “anatomical anomalies” get the best of me, especially in my workouts.
Our trainers deal with issues on a daily basis, too.
So do our clients.
No body is in perfect symmetry; that’s not the way our structures and systems are designed.
Bret Contreras, who is widely revered as the “glute expert”, wrote this today and I wanted to share it:
“In my experience as a personal trainer, it seems that the whole darn world is preoccupied with some sort of perceived imbalance, anatomical anomaly, or dysfunction that they’ve been made aware of by a prior trainer, physical therapist, chiropractor, doctor, or manual therapist. The vast majority of individuals come to me and warn me right away about their gluteal amnesia, or leg length discrepancy, or pelvic torsion, or tight hip flexors.
Upon examination, I typically find that there’s nothing wrong with them and they go on to gain a ton of strength and muscle without experiencing any issues in their training.”
Case in point: Usain Bolt.
Striving to “fix” Usain’s imbalance would likely slow him down and render him an inferior athlete.
Sometimes asymmetries are worth paying attention to, but many times they are not. If your training contains a good variety of bilateral and unilateral exercises, your form is generally sound, and you aren’t experiencing pain from your training, then stop worrying so much and quit labeling yourself as “dysfunctional”.
You are most likely more capable and have more potential than you’ve been led to believe.