The kinetic chain is an alternating sequence of mobility and stability joints that help us to move effectively. Dysfunction in one joint taxes the body to provide mobility/stability from other joints, and the same thing goes for muscles.
The muscles in the kinetic chain serve either a mobilizing or stabilizing purpose. When we are stressed, or when there is joint dysfunction, the related muscles instinctively contract to protect us. Also, a feeling of contraction—tightness—can occur when there is weakness in an adjacent muscle group.
In either case, it pays to stretch and strengthen nearby muscles in the chain. In the case of injury, physical therapists provide hands-on care that reduces pain and restore range of motion. This allows muscles to relax so that strengthening activities can begin. At Be Fit, we take a whole-body approach that fortifies the other links within the kinetic chain.
“Perceived” muscle tightness may indicate muscular imbalance.
Be Fit owner Mary Lou Savino says lots of people experience this. “[Perceived tightness] is really common,” she says. “People describe feeling tight, but actually the muscle length and flexibility are normal. Usually, this is because they are lacking in joint stability and muscle strength.”
A big clue for imbalance is a feeling of muscle tightness that massage does not relieve. In that case a compensatory muscles needs strengthening or activation in order to get the chain “firing” correctly.