T Nation

Lat Imbalance


#1

My gf was giving mea massage last night and discovered my left lat is about a blackberry thinker than my right. I'm right handed so i know my
right arm is doing a lot of the work. Is this a common thing?


#2

No, you should go see a doctor and start Synthol injections ASAP.

..or just start using your weaker side more in everyday life, and do more unilateral movements.


#3
  1. Whenever doing pull-ups/chin-ups/rack chins, make sure you get a stretch, focus on your left lat.

  2. Whenever doing unilateral work (i.e. DB rows), do your left side first, and focus on the stretch and the squeeze (SQUEEEEZE IT... sorry, have Blood and Guts in my mind). A good way for this is to perform the DB row the way that Thibaudeau prescribes in his I, BB program. You can find this in: Back Spec, Friday's workout.

  3. Stretch by hanging from pull-up bar, with weight strapped on for a long ass time.


#4

My right arm is a lot bigger than the left. It feels silly.


#5

i have the same problem, only the opposite side - my right bicep is bigger than the left and left lat is bigger than the right. obviously the arm discrepancy comes from years of using my right for everything, and the lat difference seems to be due to the right bicep taking over on pulling movements. i actually had a physical therapist check it out, and he told me that i also had a weaker serratus anterior on the right that was compounding the problem because that scapula was not being held in place properly so the lat wasn't functioning right. solution - extra rows on the right, and curls on the left. also various movements to strengthen the serratus. (depression dips, scapular protraction etc..) so no, your problem is not that unusual i would guess, since everyone has a dominant hand. just a few extra sets for the weaker/smaller side ought to help correct the imbalance over time.


#6

It's probably just genetic asymmetry. If one muscle belly is slightly longer than the other, the longer one will usually be more massive. Nothing you can do about it.


#7

Dude...genetic muscle asymmetry to that degree is extremely rare. We aren't talking about a slightly different insertion, but ~1 inch size difference.

X2 what Agent said.


#8

What degree of asymmetry are we talking about here? A "blackberry" is a pretty ambiguous unit of measurement.


#9

hahaha, yes I will give you that. I'm just pointing out that even though a muscle is larger on 1 side of the body it's highly unlikely for it to be a genetic defect.

After all, one of the categories judged in bodybuilding is SYMMETRY (both sides looking the same), so it's safe to say it takes effort for both sides to be mirror images and does not just occur naturally.


#10

I got the same problem, left lat is like 1-2 inches higher insertion than right... it's annoying...


#11

I doubt it, you probably just have more lower lat mass on the right side.


#12

these asymmetries are probably more common than people even realize - i thought my lats looked even until i got down below 6% or so BF getting ready for a show, then went "oh shit, i'm screwed!" now that i'm back into gaining mode, they look even again, but i know they're not underneath


#13

BTW, what kind of exercises are you doing to target the anterior serratus other than just more rows? My left one is weaker and is causing a lat imbalance and I'm struggling to find an exercise to make it catch up.


#14

Maybe One-arm Lat Pulldowns? Start out with neutral-grip, then supinate on the way down. Just a suggestion.


#15

actually, i have been using the one armed pulldowns with rotation. also depression dips+push-ups, and unilateral scapular protraction (sometimes using a machine chest press, sometimes just lying flat on a bench w/ a dumbbell locked out) the PT i talked to just recommended i do the pushups, but it didn't seem like enough resistance to do much of anything, so i added the other stuff on my own. i personally think the depression dips are the way to go, but that's just a personal theory, not based on any hard evidence. rope pulls a-la arnold's encyclopedia might also be worth a try. i did them for a while as well and i like the movement - similar to a pullover, but a bit easier to focus on IMO. in any case good luck getting that all balanced out Way!