Vixen: I’m not sure where to start; for me (outside diet and the mind) full body balance is related to muscular development and the repercussions that development has on athletic performance. Going on a diet may help reduce the unnecessary muscle development which interferes with a balanced motion allowing one to develop balance from a more neutral build. What I mean is, if there is too much muscle development in the wrong place it is sometimes hard to sense a correct movement and engage the proper muscle groups for a given activity.
From a performance standpoint, one may not even be able to learn how to isolate and use the correct muscle groups for an activity because the ones that are developed are so dominant that they don’t allow for the correct sensation. As a result of this, speed power and coordination may be lacking, not to mention overuse / stress related injuries and bad form / posture.
I think we become very imbalanced as more often than not we perform exercises or engage in activities that create stress on a small number of muscles groups, and depending on how good ones form is or depending on the nature of a movement one might cause an imbalance i.e. too much pushing and not enough pulling or too much tri and not enough bi. Even to the point where a practitioner might involve muscle groups that aren’t even needed to perform an action through bad form or simply because those groups are overdeveloped and dominate a movement such as too much arms (upper body) and not enough hips or leg movement.
Imbalance can be caused a number of actions like incorrect isolation exercises, sports like golf or baseball where you swing one way all the time, a fighting stance where all the weight is placed on one leg or even genetic advantages that allow one to develop sufficient power and mount a successful attack through the use of bad form. The term natural athlete (talent) comes to my mind as some people naturally employ the correct muscle groups for a given movement and then develop from there. Other people have to be taught correct form and if they don’t find it, tend to have less potential than the natural athlete who can reach a much higher level through proper mechanics and muscular development.
Swimming, the resistance caused by water, and its buoyancy involve a more complete range of muscle groups without acute stress. Also depending on how you swim, a combination of breast stroke, back stroke and front crawl will hit many muscle groups simultaneously and enable the swimmer to quickly sense where they are lacking. The fact that a person that may be fit out of water but tire quickly in it is because swimming causes you to work muscles groups through a greater range of motion while hitting the ones that aren’t overdeveloped. Muscular tension is another thing that I think is closely related to improper muscular development and also has a direct effect on performance. A combination of swimming outdoors and under the sun is very healing and relaxing and can help reduce tension levels.
Other activities that can develop more complete muscle balance and awareness are things like Pilates, Tai Chi, Yoga or soft martial arts that emphasize sensitivity over hard power. Of course it takes years (if ever) to develop the proper relaxation and find proper balance (unless you’re a natural) but there are definitely certain things one can do to help find balance quicker, maintain it or even enhance it.
Just thinking out loud… I hope it makes sense; I have a tendency to get a little esoteric at times.
you've expressed this concept in a very clear and direct way. but i find the idea of using your diet to limit muscular development in specific ways spurious. and even if targeted muscle shrinkage via starvation was possible, i'm not sure it'd be preferable to, say, simply working harder to perform actions with the proper form, or doing things designed to increase strength in complementary muscles, both of which which are (from what little i understand -- i'm admittedly no expert) the ways trainers, athletes, physical therapists and others working with scientifically supported methods traditionally address this kind of thing.
Originally Posted by Hedgehogey
Originally Posted by Kidspatula
Vixen: I hear you, and I'm definitely no expert either. I didn’t really propose any diet as a way for one to limit muscular development; I was just trying to suggest a minimal intake of nutrition that may be a safer alternative to extreme fasting.
I also believe that “targeted muscle shrinkage via starvation” can not be achieved just as one cannot spot reduce fat though target activity.
I only mentioned the idea of muscle mass reduction as a side note (as it might have been a consequence should SamuraiSteve decide to starve and sweat it out). -I just made small mention of something out of a potential scenario. I only developed my idea further in response to your questions, and as it stands, taken out of context my explanation and your response to it may be misleading. My reply was an answer to what you asked about what I meant by full body balance and how one might lose it. I loosely developed my reply from the idea mentioned earlier on this thread about the loss of muscle mass while being in a catabolic state, or more specifically the achievement of balance through a reduction of muscle mass (not though starvation).
About working harder to perform actions with proper form or doing things designed to increase strength in complimentary muscle groups, I agree that it is a perfectly sound thing to try and work from where you are at. On another note, reducing muscle mass does not have to be so extreme to the point of “shrinkage via starvation” it can be achieved gradually via modified training program (less weight greater repetitions for example) and / or a change in diet. The effects of a moderate and well thought out regimen done over a longer period of time are not so dramatic and safer.
Whatever works. :happy3: