T Nation

Misproportioned chest(left bigger than right)

Yo, I just noticed about 2 weeks ago that my chest was misproportioed heavily. my left pec is about a 1/2 inch bigger than my right and its frustrating the fuck out of my. i’ve already tryed dumbells and different weights and this shit is annoying me…

Hi kskillz… I’ve seen a couple of cases clinically where there was nerve entrapment by one of the cervical/thoracic vertebrae that interfered with nervous function and caused some atrophy of one set of muscles. If this is the case, a chiro could probably help you. I’ve also read about congenital deformities of the chest muscles where the muscle tissue itself is absent. One or both sides could have this deformity. If you’ve been able to develop some muscle on both sides, this probably isn’t it.

That's all the bad news. The good news is that it may be just a natural asymmetry in your body that really is only noticable to you. Can anybody else see the difference? Very, very few people have perfect symmetry bilaterally, which is what keeps the average tailor in business. If this is the case, then a modified workout plan will help. But, I'd go see a good chiro with sports rehab experience first if I were you. If you do have a nerve entrapment, then the right chiro could help restore nervouse function and also help modify your workout plan accordingly to restore symmetry.

Sounds like you are right handed. If so, it’s due to the fact your left is working harder in 2 ways: 1 - to keep up with the right, and 2 to keep proper form through your sets/reps. Everyone is the same in this respect. Just focus on keeping both sides of your body in the same position for all excercises you do.

If you’re not right handed, I don’t know what to tell you.

I’m with Greg on the subject of sports rehab specialists. I’ve had similar problems (in my case in my lats more than my pecs). However, in my experience (which may not be the same as yours) soft tissue injuries and neuro-muscular problems were at the root of my problems. I saw a chiro regularly for a while and he was only able to treat the symptoms - the root cause remained and the symptoms tended to return. I then started to see a soft tissue specialist (he specialises in soft tissue sports injuries, and may be similar in his approach to the active release guys you have in the States). He was able to identify that I had serious problems both with adhesions and also with “blocked” neural pathways, some of which were pretty well “switched off”. He was able to deal with the first by normal deep muscle manipulation (ouch) and the second by trigger point manipulation(double ouch). I very strongly recommend that you see a good ART guy or something similar. At worst he’ll be able to tell you that your problem is inherent. At best he’ll be able to treat your problems and your training will eventually restore your symmetry.

P.S. I can't really recommend my guy to you because I live in Swindon in the U.K. I suspect that you might have a long way to travel!!

Hi Phil J-

Interesting response. Was your soft tissue person a physiatrist, or some brand of massage therapy? I would be very interested to know which. Also, how long did your treatment last?

I agree that ART would address these issues just as you describe. Most of the ART people in this country are still chiro’s, so they will also check for some spinal involvment as well. Soft tissue adhesions could definitely produce entrapment neuropathy that could be involved in any atrophy.