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Posture is a relativeposition of the limbs, body and head occupied by a person in any moment or when moving. In fact it is a movement habit which shapes and rectifies itself. Good posture is a dynamic concept which does not involve only connection between different parts of the body while standing, but also the correct use of muscles at rest or when moving and use only of the muscles necessary for movement, control their tension and release in accordance with the functional, health and aesthetic requirements. Not every upright posture is automatically correct. The “correct” means the optimal state of the dynamic balance of the functions of the muscle apparatus in direct relation to the good function of the internal organs and nervous system. Posture usually means a layout of individual segments (parts) of the body during difficult positions and movements. "Good" or rather the individual optimal upright posture is characterized by posture when individual segments of the body are in optimal position to maintain balance with minimal involvement of the postural (anti-gravity) muscles while maintaining all functions of individual organs and body systems. The most common defect in posture is usually impaired balance of muscle tension ensuring proper physiological position of the spine and pelvis. Disorders of muscle balance arise because the postural (static) muscles which maintain the pelvis in an upright position lose their flexibility by long-term static work and they reduce. Kinetic muscles whose task is movement and coordination activities have a tendency to become flabby. Performing inadequate physical activity or exercises incorrectly causes an error in interaction between postural and kinetic component of a muscle. The resulting disproportion is the cause of muscle imbalance and variations in the incorrect posture. This condition can be caused by poor physical activity as well as one-sided overloading of some muscle groups. Therefore, muscle imbalance often occurs among athletes. The consequences of muscle imbalance are negative - the painful changes in joint connections, especially in the spine (so called blockages), or movements beyond the physiological capacity (so called hyper mobility).

Muscle imbalance is caused by one-sided overburdening of a body when doing sports training or by improper way of life. At sport it can be a limiting factor for achieving the required performance. Muscle imbalance happens mostly between postural muscles which tend to shorten and between the kinetic muscles which tend to weaken and become hypotonic. Muscle imbalance can be triggered by hyperactive muscle groups fully overburdened by exercises in relation to hypoactive muscles loaded significantly less. Shortened postural muscle influences weakened muscle which cannot respond adequately to targeted booster training. Thus, small changes may occur which lead to overburdening of tendons and joints and that can lead to degenerative changes. Muscle imbalance may promote vulnerability of affected structures. It seems that unbalanced physical units carried out in some sports may lead to the development of muscle imbalances. Postural and kinetic muscles have major influence in correct posture and proper position of individual segments and muscle imbalance.


Postural muscles (static - stability):

ensure a steady body position in space and maintain upright posture. They have tendency to shorten so they need to be stretched and their muscle tension to be reduced.


Kinetic muscles (dynamic - physical):

ensure movement, including its coordination. They tend to become flabby so they should be strengthened. 

These two types of muscles are part of two subsystems with different functional characteristics: 


1.Tonic system 

Tonic muscle system allows prolonged muscle performance with a slow onset of tiredness. 

2. Kinetic system 

Kinetic muscle system allows short-term muscle performance with quick onset and course of tiredness. 

Postural muscles have predominance between these two systems. As soon as a postural muscle is shortened based on reflexive relationship between muscles the activity of a kinetic muscle lessens. Even the slightest effort to strengthen the weakened muscle does not affect the improvement of the muscle function, but on the contrary it increases the muscle imbalance. Shortened muscle increases its muscle tone and in the muscle chain it is usually dominant. With every movement it is often activated and actually strengthened. That leads to significant overloading throughout the area. The shortened muscle based on the so-called reciprocal inhibition induces loss in their antagonists. They respond by reducing muscle tone, muscle strength, its flaccidity and by changing position in the stereotype.

These symptoms are characteristic for the following areas of the body: neck area and upper body, waist area, pelvic area, hip area and lower legs.

In practice muscle imbalance most often happens in these areas of the body:


Upper Cross syndrome 

The neck area - muscle imbalance in this area is caused by a mismatch between bending head and neck muscles in the front of the cervical spine and deep neck muscles at the back. Muscle imbalance is further increased by the shortened upper part of the trapezes muscle. That leads to bending of the cervical spine and moving the head forward very often accompanied by pain in the cervical spine. 
The upper body muscle imbalance is reflected in shortening of the breast muscles and flaccidity of the back muscles (lower and middle part of the trapezium muscle).


Lower cross syndrome

When there is lack of fixation and stabilization of the pelvis at movement tonic muscles become more active in the waist area and they gradually get shorter and take over kinetic muscles.


Pelvic and hip replacement 

The hip-waist-thigh muscle, the thigh tension muscle, the direct thigh muscle with tendency to shorten allow bending in the hip and on the other hand abdominal and buttock muscles with tendency to slacken ensure stretching in the hip. Abdominal muscles are important muscle group which cannot fully support the lumbar area when they slacken. The resulting imbalance affects the pelvic tilt which leads to the lumbar lordosis and subsequent pain in the lumbar area. 

Disorders of muscle imbalance lead to malfunctions in musculoskeletal system and also to changes in the curvature of the spine and to limitations in the movement of joints.








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