T Nation

Muscle balance

OK T-Men, especially Ian King, we have all read articles and books telling us we’ll be stronger and more injury-resistant if we have a good balance between oposing muscle groups. One of the formulas I read was Dr. Squat saying that hamstring power should be 70% of quad power. Has anyone got a complete source of exercises and formulae that I can use to evaluate for a weakness? I am going to start powerlifting soon and would like to fix any problems ahead of time. Thanks!

Bro…check out Dave Tate’s website, I think, elitefitness.com. Also ck. Westsidebarbell.com. Somewhere on one of these sites is a complete list and explanation of all poerlifting related excercises. I have it printed, but I am sure the monitors would not let us post fax numbers.

close jrr but thats a supplement seller. Dave Tates website is elitefitnesssystems.com or elitefts

i wouldn’t pay that much attention to your quad/ham ratio. I would pay more attention to doing somewhat equal amounts of quad dominant and hip dominant exercises as ian king puts it. quads are generally stronger at lower speeds of flexion/extension than the hamstrings, but when you get to higher speeds of flexion/extension the hamstrings tend to be stronger. Also depends highly upon the setup you are using to test the ratio.

http://www.testosterone.net/html/52balan.html is an article that discussed this in depth. Charles Poliquin invested a lot of time apparantly, and it seems quite thorough. Issue 52, acheiving structural balance.

I wouldn’t pay to much mind to the quad hamstring ratio that some talk about. These kinds of ratios are relevent to the kind of sport that you’re playing. For instance it was found in the former USSR that olympic weightlifters who competed at the highest level typically had a quad to hamstring strength ratio of about 4:1. so this would go starkly against what alot of authors are saying about this ratio and injury potential. I think what is more important is the diffence in muscle length and resting tension of opposing sides of a joint. If for instance you have quads that are substancially stronger than your hamstrings, this shouldn’t matter if during a rested state your quads and hamstrings are exerting the same amount of tension on opposing sides of the joint. Thus allowing for proper postural alignment.
From a performance perspective, I think it is more important to look at the demands of your sport and decide if it would be advantages to to have one group stronger than the other. If your an olympic lifter and have to repeatedly front squat lots of weight, than strong quads are essential, If you run sprints than stong hams and glutes are the order of the day. If your a bodybuilder, shave your legs and flex in your underwear. The point is that it depends on your needs and weaknesses.