T Nation

Dealing With Asymmetrical Strength

I know that the issue of dealing with a dominant side and a weaker side has been looked at on these forums before. But I was wondering what specific training methodology people have used to help bring the strength of their weaker side up to that of (or closer to) their dominant side?

My right side is my dominant side. It shows on the bench often, I will find it harder to lock out the left arm at the end of the lift. Same with the military press, there is less triceps mass on my left arm. The arm feels much less stable than the right.

Unilateral lifts for this reason have been mentioned before, but what kind of reps/sets? How best to incorporate into your routine etc? What are people’s personal experiences with this issue?

Try incorporating more dumbbell work.

I have the same problem and I’m seeing some good results with doing more sets on the non-dominant side. I do them more frequently than the dominant side as well. I go lighter on the extra sets and for higher reps and train the lagging muscles for consecutive days, trying to build mass in the prime movers and stability in the supporting muscles.

I put these last on regular training days and work 'em by themselves on the other days. I pound 'em for three or four days straight and then stop the extra work for 2 or three days. There’s still some strength and size difference, but it’s getting smaller since adding this mini program.

Hope that helps.

[quote]Plim wrote:
Unilateral lifts for this reason have been mentioned before[/quote]

It sounds like you even tried using incorporating unilateral lifts before. You remind me of a guy who recently asked, “How can I get more flexible?” When I asked, “Do you stretch?” he said, “No.” Umm… What answer other than, “Stretch” did he expect?

Everyone has been saying for YEARS to do unilateral work when there are muscle imbalances. What answer other than, “Do unilateral work” are you expecting?

Add in an exercise or two next time you train. Work the weakest arm first. This is your baseline for the exercise. Do not do any more reps or weight when you use your stronger arm.

That’s the answer.

You should probably also stretch.

i have had some luck with the compex sport muscle simulator you can turn it up so the contractions match evenly on each side and if you live in england you shoould be able to get the compex m-500 i think thats what its called these machine are kinda pricey but they are worth it since you can use them during alot of your down time…

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Plim wrote:
Unilateral lifts for this reason have been mentioned before

It sounds like you even tried using incorporating unilateral lifts before. You remind me of a guy who recently asked, “How can I get more flexible?” When I asked, “Do you stretch?” he said, “No.” Umm… What answer other than, “Stretch” did he expect?

Everyone has been saying for YEARS to do unilateral work when there are muscle imbalances. What answer other than, “Do unilateral work” are you expecting?

Add in an exercise or two next time you train. Work the weakest arm first. This is your baseline for the exercise. Do not do any more reps or weight when you use your stronger arm.

That’s the answer.

You should probably also stretch.[/quote]

An answer I was hoping for was something along the lines of what skidmark said (thanks for that Skidmark).

Of course you can eloborate beyong “just use unilateral lifts”. I know that unilateral lifts are what is recommended, that is why I was asking for specific examples of methodology in my post. I was unsure as to what weight to use (relative to what I would normally use in my routine bilaterally), what kind of volume to add and rep ranges etc.

Thankyou for your response anyway.

I will start to add more volume for my left side from my next session.