T Nation

Correcting Strength Imbalances?

ive been thinking of this topic lately, and was wondering what you guys might think.

I recently started dong BW rows (fat man pullups), and focusing on scapular retraction and depression. If i really focus on performing these correctly i can probably only do about 6-10 max.

The opposite movement for these would pushup plus. (basically a pushup with a scapular protraction at the top)
For these i can probably do 15-20 max.

So there is an obvious strength imbalance as usually expected here.

In correcting this imbalance, ive heard that its good to use a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of pulling to pressing movements.

DO I STILL TRAIN MY PUSHING MOVEMENTS HARD, OR JUST ENOUGH TO MAINTAIN CURRENT STRENGTH WHILE THE PULLS CATCH UP?

Also, if i look at vertical push/pull strength, my vertical pull (pullups) is definately much stronger than my vertical push (standing barbell press).

DOES THIS MEAN I NEED LESS FOCUS ON MY VERTICAL PULLING, AND MORE ON VERTICAL PUSHING, OR IS IT NORMAL TO BE WEAKER AT VERTICAL PUSH?


My only other real point of interest, is fixing my imbalance between upper traps, and lower traps/serratus. I have come to believe that this is what is causing my minor shoulder impingement/stiffness. I do a lot of deadlifting and snatching, and consequently my upper traps have become very tight.

TO FIX THIS PROBLEM, WOULD IT MAKE SENSE THAT I SHOULD BE DOING PUSHUPS, PULLUPS, BW ROWS, LOW TRAP ACTIVATION, AND STRETCHING THE UPPER TRAPS?

Also, along the lines with my main question, do i need to stop the deadlifting, which is probably creating a strength imbalance between the upper and lower traps? (I HOPE NOT)

thanks in advance.

Good questions. I am very interested to hear others thoughts on the vertical push/pull ratio for balance. My intial thought would be that from a bodybuilding perspective, an equal 1RM for push press and weighted pullup would result in a very nice v taper. I also wonder if the better comparison for strength balance would be between the weighted pullup and a high pull.

How much of there is a difference? I know that people can verticle push 2-300 pounds, but I’m assuming that you can yet because you say it’s weaker than you pull (which would have to be rediculously high)

Robertson’s artcle gives some good ratios about push/pull balance:

I also know of another article that gives ratios for several lifts - within the last year or so…just too tired to look.

Well, I dont do much vertical pushing, but I could probably incline bench 185, and push press about the same.

For pullups I could probably do 260-270 (thats including bw)

I noticed the biggest difference for higher reps though.

Like I said, BW rows I can only do 6-8 parallel, while I can do probably 15-20 pushups (with my feet elevated)

Maybe endurance doesn’t matter as much, and maybe strength ratios dont matter that much either as long as your paying proper attention to everything.

For shoulder heal, and balance, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to compare these compound movements, because the biceps, and triceps play such a large role in them.

Basically you might be able to row a lot, or do a lot of pullups, because you have really strong biceps, but your lats and scapular depressors/retractors may still be very weak.

Maybe comparing scapula pushups, and BW scapula retractions would be a better test of balance?