• Home
  • About Rick
  • Courses
  • Products
  • Services
  • Contact
  • Survey

The Battle with Muscle Imbalances


Filed Under (Fitness, Knee Injury, Knee Pain, muscle imbalances, muscle imbalances revealed, Rotator Cuff Exercises, Shoulder Injury, Shoulder Pain) by Rick Kaselj

There is a lot more awareness when it comes to muscle imbalances.

The incredible success of Muscle Imbalances Revealed 2.0 has really taken the industry by storm.

Trainers, coaches, and therapists from around the world have been using it to help their clients overcome injuries, bust through fitness plateaus, and prevent injuries.

It has been amazing to see how this little product has helped thousands of fitness & health professionals, which in return has helped hundreds of thousands of people.

Sad to say, the battle continues.

We need to do more to better understand, assess, and prescribe exercises to eliminate muscle imbalances.

In 2011, there will be more and more emphasis on muscle imbalances.

Muscle Imbalance is my #8 Exercise Rehabilitation Prediction for 2011

In fact, I just got approached by an Australian outdoor magazine to write an article on muscle imbalances and how it can affect the outdoor athlete.  Very cool.  I will let you know how it goes.

With the media starting to focus on it, so has the research.

Muscle Imbalances in the Research


Baksi D, Pal A, Baksi D. (2011). Electromyographic investigation of unstable patella before and after its realignment operation. Indian J Orthop. 2011 Jan;45(1):69-73.

My focus is not on surgery, but in the above article after surgery of an unstable patella, there was a return to muscle activity of vastus medialis and vastus lateralis.

Pal S, Draper CE, Fredericson M, Gold GE, Delp SL, Beaupre GS, Besier TF. (2010). Patellar Maltracking Correlates With Vastus Medialis Activation Delay in Patellofemoral Pain Patients. Am J Sports Med. 2010 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print]

In the above article they talk about the delay in activation in vastus medialis in patellofemoral pain clients.  The talk about vastus medialis retraining, as I go through in the Exercise Rehabilitation of the Knee course, is best done with clients who have excessive tilt or bisect offset.  Interesting.

There is a lot of research when it comes to the knee, but what about the rest of the body?

Sung PS, Yoon B, Lee DC. (2010). Lumbar spine stability for subjects with and without low back pain during one-leg standing test. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2010 Jul 15;35(16):E753-60.

In the above article, they looked at changes in the lower back in subjects with and without lower back pain while standing on one leg and with eyes closed.  They found those with lower back pain had less ability to stand on one leg and not move when standing on one leg.  They recommend those with lower back pain may have muscle imbalances that lead to poor postural activity and need to be addressed.

The key thing to remember is:  What kind of core training do you do and give your clients?  Is it mat work, standing, or single leg?

Okay, one more.

I have to finish up with a shoulder one.  Love the shoulder.

Mihata T, Gates J, McGarry MH, Lee J, Kinoshita M, Lee TQ. (2009). Effect of rotator cuff muscle imbalance on forceful internal impingement and peel-back of the superior labrum: a cadaveric study. Am J Sports Med. 2009 Nov;37(11):2222-7. Epub 2009 Sep 22.


They looked a the cadavers of shoulders.  What they found was that a muscle imbalance between subscapularis and the rest of the rotator cuff in a simulated late cocking phase leads to an increase in external rotation and increased glenohumeral contact pressure.  This muscle imbalance can lead to rotator cuff tears and superior labrum lesions.



You might be tired about hearing about muscle imbalances, but in 2011 you will need to focus on it more to help your clients reach their goals.

That is it for now.

Thank you for reading.

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – If you would like to read the other predictions, you can check them out below:

Prediction #1

Prediction #2

Prediction #3

Prediction #4

Prediction #5

Prediction #6

Prediction #7


Facebook comments:

Comments posted (5)


Hey Rick, I secretly love the topic of muscle imbalances and have been adding prevention and correction exercises into my clients’ and my own programs for a while. I even add them into boot camp workouts. Response to the exercises have been amazing.

I have people try to drop down into a squat, you know where you are resting your hips right near your heels. When they can’t do that, we do a series of mobility exercises and then try again. There is always improvement in the depth they can squat, and some can even go all the way. The looks on their faces when they can see the almost instant imporvement is priceless!




Great to hear.

Excellent to hear you are addressing muscle imbalances and getting better results from your clients.

Rick Kaselj



Hi Rick!

Interesting subject! I just realized a few months back that when I do leg curls my left leg is more or less along for the ride, leaving my right to do most of the work.

The funny thing is that I think the difference comes from having snowboarded for almost 20 years now and I typically ride regular, which means that I’m always popping off the ground with my right leg.

The difference seems to go beyond just strength and extends to range of motion, and coordination as well.

To remedy the situation I began to work the legs independently as well, which has decreased the gap between the two.

Take care,




Rick Kaselj Reply:

Excellent point Matt.

Bilateral work is important but so is unilateral work.

Rick kaselj


Write a comment