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Imbalance? Cannot Perform Lat Pull Down Straight


#1

Hey bros. So for some reason I canâ??t seem to perform a lat pulldown straight. I donâ??t know why this is happening or what is the cause. Iâ??ve been training for years, and caught this recently. Obviously this wasnâ??t happening before or I would of noticed it.

So the left side is higher than the right. This isnâ??t a matter of one side being stronger than the other. I am literally in that tilted position before I even start the set. So letâ??s say I grab the bar and sit down and just allow the weight to stretch me up before I perform the first rep. I will already get pulled into that tilted position (left side higher, than right) prior to performing my first pulldown. No injuries or anything like that recently...

Video is below

https://vid.me/IgaF

A few things I should mention...

This does not happen if I use a narrow grip vertical pull down. It also does not happen if I use a wide grip on a horizontal cable row. Something has to be triggering this In my upper trap or shoulder area? I really donâ??t know...but no matter how hard I focus I cannot pull the bar straight down.


#2

Something to add.

I noticed this issue actually last month while performing pull ups. I noticed that I was shifting to my right side. I somehow fixed it. I really have no clue what I did, but now it no longer happens. I got on the lat pull down last week just to see how I perform there…and noticed the imbalance again.

Here is a video of the pull ups. Maybe It will help. Iâ??ve gone to a chiro…did not really get any answers.

https://vid.me/DXTr


#3

Have a good PT check you out. You could have a minor impingement, some scar tissue, all sorts of possibilities that you would never guess, but could require just a simple fix.

S


#4

could be you just cant see what you are doing
try getting someone to stand behind you to tell you when you are straight
after a couple of sessions see if it clears up


#5

I would say Stu is on the right track.

I have seen this a few times with my clients and its relatively easy to fix, what i think it could be is tightness (impingement) through the sub scap/mid trap area, when you get knots and tightness in this area it doesn’t allow the shoulder blade to move properly which then affects how you pulldown (messes with a lot of other movements as well).

Also as soon as you get tight here it will transfer into the top of the trap which will elevate one side so from the front you look like one shoulder is higher then the other.

A good PT, physio or sports masseuse could fix it in a matter of days

Cheers


#6

Just throwing in my 2 cents, even though it’s impossible to determine what is going on with this video alone.

It looks like you are actually side-bending to the right, causing the left half of your thorax and rib cage to be elevated relative to the right. The scapular movement itself looks fine to me, but if half of your rib cage is sitting higher than the other other half, then the scap on that side is going to be elevated as well.

For a quick test and work-around, try engaging your left ab wall and oblique to “pull down” your left rib cage. If this fixes how the movement feels, theres a good chance that the problem is related to thorax position and not the scap itself. That said, it’s entirely possible that issues with your scapular mechanics still exist – possibly as a compensation for what is happening at the rib cage. A GOOD physical therapist should be able to see what is going on and get you on a treatment course to work it out.

To Jordz: I point this out not to be a know-it-all or a jerk, but because you work with clients and the information may be useful: tightness and impingement are too very different things, and the subscap and mid traps are too very different muscles that don’t occupy much of the same area. I see nothing in the OP’s post that would lead me to think he has an impingement issue going on or a problem with his subscap.


#7

Thanks for all the responses.

@Jordz - You may be right. I noticed that that now when I perform a bench press, my bar is slightly crooked. Itâ??s not crooked vertically, as in one side lower than the other, so it is not a strength issue. The bar is actually crooked in the horizontal plane (one side is more forward compared to the other). I do retract my scapula completely when I bench, so itâ??s completely possible that the issue is coming from there.

@Trevor - I have a very mild form of scoliosis in my lumbar (lower back area). It measures at 9 degrees. I was told by my doctor that most 9 degrees is so minor that it should not really interfere with anything. We looked at my x-ray, and my shoulders are completely even. It only impacts the very lower part of my spine, which makes one oblique look slightly different than the other side. The doctor told me that with scoliosis usually another curve is created by the body to compensate for the first one, but luckily in my case, there is just that one small curve at the bottom and nothing in the mid-region and upper area.

I have an appointment with a good physio on Thursday. I visited a Chiro earlier this week and he had no idea why this was happening. I should note,also that I am in canada and do use anabolic steroids. The chiro Said maybe it could be the scolisos, maybe shoulder injury - in short he was just speculating and had no clue.


#8

I thought a little bit of crookedness was normal and fairly common?

I seem to have this exact same problem, except mine is probably worse.

I thought it was from mixed grip deadlifting for so many years, or maybe just one side being weaker?


#9

UPDATE:

I got a massage and it changed my life


#10

So what happened with the physio?? Did it help?


#11

I have a similar issue with lat pulldowns and pullups and some other exercises. Have had it for awhile now, left side feels lazy. Not so much at the beginning of the set but toward the end when fatigue sets in. I would bet big bucks that you are right handed… Interested to see how your appt goes.


#12

[quote]Wayacrucis wrote:
Something to add.

I noticed this issue actually last month while performing pull ups. I noticed that I was shifting to my right side. I somehow fixed it. I really have no clue what I did, but now it no longer happens. I got on the lat pull down last week just to see how I perform there…and noticed the imbalance again.

Here is a video of the pull ups. Maybe It will help. IÃ???Ã??Ã?¢??ve gone to a chiro…did not really get any answers.

https://vid.me/DXTr[/quote]

Your left arm is longer than your right arm. No biggy. Scaps are horizontal, spine vertical.