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Just a Little More Balance

To put it succinctly, being in good shape improves the quality of time you have on this earth. There’s no upside in letting yourself go, and certainly none in becoming puny, rickety, or sickly.

That said, vanity is still alive and well, and the desire to improve appearance is a major motivator for many people. Just glance at social media, and you’ll see no shortage of people preening, prancing, and posing in various stages of undress. So if your main reason for training is to look better, you’re not alone. And when it comes to appearance, a well-balanced physique creates a statuesque silhouette that's easy on the eyes.

Obviously, your genome plays a significant role in how your body develops. Nevertheless, aiming for a balanced physique, or as close as you can get to it, is most likely to yield your best look. The idea of balance is simply that no part of the body is awkwardly large or small in relation to the body as a whole.

If you’re naturally broad-chested with relatively skinny legs, then achieving better balance would entail working out your legs frequently under relatively heavy loads. If you have a pear-shaped physique, with a large lower body and a comparatively small upper body, then slimming your legs down and bulking up your arms and torso will yield better balance. Again, you have to work with the genetics you’re endowed with, and it may not be realistic to achieve perfect balance. And that’s OK. Any improvement you achieve is a victory.

It helps to regularly train all the major muscle groups—think legs, glutes, core, chest, back, arms, and shoulders—and antagonistic muscle pairs, such as biceps and triceps, pecs and lats, and hamstrings and quads. Many people focus on one or two muscle groups and neglect others altogether. It can not only create an imbalance in your physique but also mess up your posture because disproportionately strong muscles will pull joints in a particular direction.

Think about how many people have shoulders that hunch forward. It’s because we tend to push a lot more than we pull and hunch over more than we lean back, so our front delts are typically more developed than our rear delts. In this case, to achieve a more upright posture with pinned back shoulders, you would need to do rows and flies that engage the rear delts.

It doesn’t take an IQ of 150 to figure things out. Honor the age-old approach of exercising frequently and vigorously and minding your dietary habits. And include plenty of strength training because it’s particularly effective for sculpting your body.

Sayonara until next time.

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