T Nation

Fixing body imbalances?


After doing the bench press yesterday, I went to do 45lb DB inc presses only to discover that the left side of my body failed much faster than my right. The only thing I could think to do at the time was drop the weight and lift 42.5 lbs with my left and 40lbs with my right.

Is there a better way to correct these imbalances? Also, the entire left side of my body is weaker and it's causing major disruptions to my training, so any advice would help


lower the weight and use a weight you can do with good form on both sides.


When I do DB rows, I also find that my left side is not as strong as my right. However, I just train for the amount of reps I am doing as best I can, record how many I got, and repeat the weight the next time I do DB rows until I get the full amount of reps. It has never taken me more than 1 repeat like this to bring the left side up to speed.


Just use a barbell, leave the DBs alone for next couple years. Voila.

"But, I need to get my guns reals hooge. And all the pro bodybuilders use dumbbellz mang."

Na dude, just squat, press, bench, row and dead. You'll get strong, trust me!

"You're stupidz, you dont know what you're talking about. I need to bring up my upper chesticle muscles with the peanutz."


Don't use a different weight for each side. Use the same weight for both sides but pick a weight which is light enough for your weak side to get your desired reps with decent form. When using a barbell focus on bringing the bar up evenly and put more focus on contracting your weak side.
When doing DB rows or other single arm exercises, use your weak side first, count the reps and then only do the same amount of reps on your stronger side.
Use these tips and try and build a better mind muscle conection with your left hand side. For most people starting out a month or two of this will even things out.


Is there something wrong with being "dominant" with one side over the other?
You posted in the beginners forum, I assume your a beginner
All the posts above about using a barbell for now, mind muscle connection and the other techniques provided are things you should look into
You may also want to look into asses and correct by Eric Cressey http://www.ericcressey.com/assess-and-correct-now-available


One of my friends I worked out with for a few months had similar problems with imbalances. He was a volleyball player so his right arm was noticeably stronger than his left. Due to this his left pec was bigger than his right because when benching his strong right arm did more work than his pec while his left side needed more reliance on his pec since the arm wasn't as strong.

Basically we just stayed on the same program for a while and eventually the inequalities balanced out. It's not about using just dumbbells or just barbells, you need a healthy mix of both along with the occasional (stress the word occasional) use of machines. As long as you keep doing the same weight with both sides and get the same number of reps it'll balance. Don't get discouraged if strength gains slow during this period as your strong side won't be getting challenged as much as the weak side. Just stick at it and before you know it you'll be evened out.