Unless the muscle imbalance is huge and obvious, a personal trainer usually can’t identify it. It takes a good physical therapist to diagnose a muscle imbalance, and it’s done with special tools, such as a sensitive plate on a floor that measures the weight of each foot as the person being tested walks across the floor. Such plates can identify whether one glute or one thigh is doing more work than the other. The therapist can then create an exercise program that will build up the weaker side.
The program can never be accomplished in just a few months. It takes a very long time to rebuild a weak spot — a year or maybe even two years. Since you have already established a tendency towards atrophy, you may have to continue a specified exercise program for the rest of your life, or at least until you hit your mid-80s.
One good thing: Medicare will pay most of the cost of working out in a physical therapy or rehab center. Don’t sign up for the first site you visit, unless other sites are many miles away. If you live in a city/suburban area, there should be a number of professional physical therapist offices available. Many hospitals also offer this service. Call each place, don’t ever just ‘drop in.’ Tell the person who answers the phone that you want an assessment of any serious weaknesses or muscle imbalances in your body. The therapists can also design an efficient workout to start making your weak spot strong again.
Wina Sturgeon is an active 55+ based in Salt Lake City, who offers news on the science of anti-aging and staying youthful at: adventuresportsweekly.com. She skates, bikes and lifts weights to stay in shape.