T Nation

Imbalances - a Theory


#1

Ok, I want to know what you guys think about this.

My right side is significantly smaller than my left. For example my left arm is 1/2" bigger and my lat on the right is considerably less thick and wide but, here's the catch - My right side, despite being smaller, is just as strong or in some cases stronger! My theory is that since i'm "right side dominant"(hand,eye,leg) the neural connection is better on the right so in order to compensate for a poorer neural connection on the left my body has to grow the muscles larger.

This really is quite the problem because the only way I can see to make my symmetry better would be to make my self unbalanced strength wise. Obviously it's much healthier to just leave myself asymmetrical and keep strength balanced but it sucks from an aesthetic point of view. And its not like I have only been trainer for a while, I have, so far, been lifting weights for 5 years now so i'm losing faith that my nervous system will "balance out".

Any ideas on how to cure this? My lats honestly look a good bit off if you are looking for it and it bothers me. Any way I could "jump start" the connection on my left. I got a feeling this might be a lost cause because stuff like this is probably wired in a birth and pretty unchangeable.

Any help is appreciated. If you think there is another cause let me know.
Thanks.


#2

neurological efficiency is different on each side of the body. no body is perfectly symmetrical.


#3

Well, my right eye was dominant, I’m right handed, and my right arm has always been bigger than my left, with little to no difference in strength. As far as legs go, I also kick with my right foot, but as a result my left leg is my plant leg and definitely better at holding me up.

Why do you think the nervous system would 'balance out"? Are you doing any eye or motor coordination work? I’ve done a lot of eye work lately and while it makes it easier to see things (lol), it hasn’t done anything to change differences in arm size.

One “cause” could just be different muscle belly lengths on each side of the body.


#4

Could be anything. Does not sound significant. You can balance it up with single arm / single leg movements. If it was severe, like 30% stronger on one side, there might be a problem that needs checking out.

If you’ve been trying to sort it out thought for 5 years maybe it is a good idea to get a checkup and look for a neurologist and see if something is wrong.

Having said all that, I’m prob. stronger on the right and a bit bigger too but it is not really noticeable, prob. the case with most people.


#5

How do you determine the difference between an imbalance due to
muscle imbalance
mechanical/structural imbalance
neurological imbalance?


#6

Well to do that accurately you should be a trained professional. Most can be identified through a routine examination but for advanced stuff you can hook people up to machines and measure electrical flow etc…


#7

I’ve had the same situation. I am right handed, but my left arm is bigger. It used to be more signficant (as much as 1/2"), but is less so since I started doing more unilateral work. Not just for Bi’s and Tri’s but also stuff like rows and presses as your arms don’t only get stimulation from direct work.


#8

[quote]Magarhe wrote:
Well to do that accurately you should be a trained professional. Most can be identified through a routine examination but for advanced stuff you can hook people up to machines and measure electrical flow etc…

[/quote]

What type of trained pro?


#9

IMO, everytime ive seen someone bring up something like this it was mainly in their head. It may be “noticeable” to you, but most of the time people notice the little things on themselves.

Also this is the strength forum, and I dont think too many strength athletes are concerned with symmetry. If your strength is balanced youve got nothing to worry about.

Lastly, you said your strength is balanced. But what about endurance. Maybe test it with something like a 3-5rm on both sides, and a 20-30rm. Also, unilateral training should even out most imbalances in the long run.