09-22-07 - 1

I, like 99% of guys who lift weights, have an overdeveloped chest. It's pretty useless. If you only worked functional strength, you would have a strong core, very strong butt, strong shoulders, and much smaller chest and biceps. The chest is crucial for birds, it's important for quadrapeds; the chest is sort of like the "butt" of the arms, just like the butt provides the real big muscle power for the back legs, the chest does the same for quadrapeds front legs, but we don't really use the arms much in that way; it's even important for gorillas, who do a lot of knuckle walking and such. Anyway, I realized part of the reason it's fun to exercise is specifically *because* we hardly use it in ordinary life. You can pound the hell out of in the gym, and it will be sore, but it's not like you're using it a lot while it's sort. On the other hand, the legs/butt are much stronger, and it's fun to really beat them up in the gym, but then the next day you can hardly walk, and that's really not fun, and it prevents you from biking or whatever you might want to do on your off days. Having a destroyed sore chest doesn't really stop you from doing many leisure activities, unless you're a break dancer.

BTW this is related to a general problem that many people have, not just weightlifters. The modern fad for abs and pecs causes people to overdevelop their anterior (front side) muscles, which causes a contraction of the front of the body and no balancing pull on the back. This leads to "kyphosis" , which is basically a hunched posture mainly due to anterior curvature of the upper spine. Kyphosis is very bad for you, not only causing spine injury and nerve impingement, but also leading to neck problems, and improper shoulder function which can lead to rotator cuff injury and other shoulder problems due to lack of scapular retraction (shoulder blades not held together).

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