Correcting Muscle Imbalances
For as long as I have worked out, I have had slight muscle imbalances. Now everybody has small differences in their left and right side and nobody is perfectly symmetrical.
This is for the simple fact that one side of your body is always going to be dominant over the other due to daily tasks. For example: my right bicep is larger and stronger then my left bicep. This is most likely the same situation with a lot of guys. This was due to the fact that I use my right arm more to lift things and performing tasks with. The dominant side will always be a bit bigger and stronger than the other side.
When I went to the gym to work out, my right arm naturally was stronger then my left. This can often create even more of a noticeable imbalance if left over time. For barbell curls I used to use heavy weight and my dominant arm would do most of the lifting. You’ve all probably seen or know what that’s like. You’re struggling to lift the heavy barbell and you’re bringing it up at an angle rather than parallel to the floor. Over the years I’ve focused on correcting muscle imbalances in my body and have been successful. Here are some tips that I used to to correct my muscle imbalances.
How to go about correcting muscle imbalances
1) Increase strength on the weaker side
The main thing when it comes to wanting to balance out your muscles is you want to determine if one side is weaker than the other. Strength does relate to muscle size. My right bicep was larger then my left because my right bicep was substantially stronger then my left. I was able to curl 40 pounds with ease with my right bicep while my left struggled with doing 35 pounds. I started focusing on building up strength in my left arm. I always started the workout set with my left arm and performed the exercise to muscular failure. Then no matter how many reps I did with my left arm, I would match it with my right. Within a year, my left bicep grew to a point where the muscle imbalance was no longer visible.
2) Perform pre-exhaust sets with smaller muscle
This was another workout technique that I used to fix my bicep size. Before starting my workout, I would do one or 2 light sets to pre-exhaust the muscle and activate it to really be able to ‘feel’ the muscle. The weight that I used was generally light enough that it did not interfere with my actual working set.
3) Increase training frequency and volume
Increasing training frequency and volume is something else that you can do to help correct muscle imbalances. If you want your muscles to grow you must stimulate it to the point where you will trigger muscle growth. The more you stimulate the muscle the more it reacts by building muscle and getting stronger. I usually added a few extra sets to the end of my workout on the lagging side, and often gave the lagging body part a second workout during the week after adequate rest and recovery.
Now muscle imbalances don’t only occur in the arms and biceps, but they are the most common. The first step is to start focusing more on the weaker and less developed side. Correcting it isn’t a very hard thing to do. With muscle growth takes patience and if you follow these tips you should be on your way to correcting your muscle imbalances in no time.