What is a Synergist Muscle? The Basics


Many people think that simply going on a diet plan (e.g. LA Diet, Atkins diet, South Beach Diet, etc.) or taking a weight loss supplement (e.g. a diet pill) is all they need to have their best body.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Although food intake is probably the most important factor in a successful weight loss plan or program, regular cardiovascular exercise is just as important to maximize results in any effort to lose weight.

Knowing how the body works as you exercise is very important so that you may maximize your program or any other efforts that you may undertake to lose weight.

One of those “good things to know” involves the synergy of your muscle groups and how they work together during the activities that you will participate in..

For instance, most of the muscles of the body’s limb operate in opposing pairs. In these pairs, the muscle that is performing the desired movement is called the agonist, or primary mover.

The agonists opposing muscle, the antagonist is being stretched in the opposite direction (Think of it like the protagonist and antagonist in a story line). The opposing muscle poses the potential to move against the motion and force of the agonist muscle.

This is necessary for the body to perform such tasks as changing direction and keeping the joints from receiving too much pressure or force from any one direction. In the fitness world, this is more commonly referred to as the “push-pull” concept.

There is a third type of muscle in this equation, referred to as the synergist. This muscle type assists the agonist by providing additional force in the direction that is attempting to move the body. This takes some of the load off of the primary mover and more importantly the major joint that is helping to do the work. The role of the synergist over time helps to minimize the wear and tear of the joints that aid in body movement during both exercise and activities of daily living (ADL).

While you are making sure you consume the correct foods in your diet, also be mindful of the role that the body’s different parts are playing in the other portions of your total weight loss program.

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