T Nation

Lateral Raise Imbalance


When doing DB lateral raises, standing or bentover, I've noticed an imbalance between my left and right side:

I tend to feel the right side on more the outside delt and outside lats.
On the left side, I tend to feel it more in the upper and lower traps.

I can somewhat compensate for this while bentover by pushing the left arm back (down) and the right arm forward (up). Also, when doing DB OHPs, I tend to have the left arm a few inches further back than the right, if that's any indication on the imbalance.

Is this just an issue of a weak left lat? I'm not TOO sure where it's supposed to be felt and it's a new exercise for me.

I'm working w/ 5-10 lb DBs, so I could be going heavy (never done these before).

I know doing individual pulldowns really helped my chin-up, as my left side would fatigue long before my right), so I'm hoping this is just a strength issue and not structural (my shoulders don't hurt and ROM is roughly the same).


If you can't keep the form the same on both arms, and presuming there's been no previous injury, I'm guessing something's tight and that's throwing you out of whack.

Try some of the upper body stuff here:
And read up on other mobility drills and foam rolling. If you can loosen up the tissue that's probably funkifying your movement, it should improve.

But just because the problem is with the left arm, don't overfocus on that side. If parts along your right side (even low back and glutes) are knotted up, it could effect further up the chain.

It's not uncommon to feel lateral raises or bent laterals in the traps, but it shouldn't really be the main place you're feeling it.

Although, if you're only using 5-10 pounds on the laterals, then it could be an issue of everything needing to catch up. The weird issue is that you are feeling it in different places on different sides of the body, so something isn't working right somewhere.


Thanks.. I'l give rolling a try. I've never rolled any upper body, so I'm sure it will feel great.

I was playing around with it, and my left lat def. does a lot more work when it's only 5 lbs, so there's the possibility it could be an activation issue... I can see an imbalance in the mirror: it looks like my left shoulder is shrugging more to recruit the deltoid.

It could come from driving.... 1 hand on the wheel, other around my abundant w0menz.


May be worth a shot, my left shoulder always sat semi shrugged in a few exercises,t his cleaned that up:

Also look if your first rib is screwing up the movement.