If we talk “imbalances” in general terms, then there are lots of ways to deal with things. One of the first things I get trainers doing with unilateral type exercises, such as a bicep curl for example, is to lead off with the weaker/non-dominant arm then match reps with the good side.
I have seen too many examples of guys repping out the big weight on their dominant side, then trying, and failing, to do the same on the weaker side but not worrying, and hence creating imbalances over time.
For shoulder related issues, deafferentation about the shoulder joint is a common problem leading to faulty movement patterns and creating imbalances over time. The problem with the shoulder especially is that problems in central drive tend to manifest in the previously asymptomatic limb owing to “neural spillover”, to use a rather gross term. I prefer to use biofeedback (a mirror) to make sure that movements, such as a weighted front punch, bear hug with dumb-bells (you can go quite heavy with this), are balanced and don’t use compensatory strategies (shoulder hiking), that can lead to fun imbalances (such as in upper traps).
I have time for you Bill :-)[/quote]
I do use a mirror for practically everything.
The one thing I do see asymmetry on, have only picked it up recently, is deadlifts. For some reason in the start position the “natural” position has the left shoulder a little different than the right. Luckily the join line in the T-shirt on the top of the traps (approximately) gives a good reference, so with effort I can equal the sides out. But it’s odd to me that it’s happening in the first place. Hadn’t noticed this till recently.
Fortunately, the shoulder problem winds up, at least in terms of pain, only being a problem outside of the gym – doesn’t hurt during any of the movements I now do. Well a little bit on lateral raises, but they are done unilaterally anyway (I do the incline bench variant.) I can readily see where pain during exercises could very easily shift patterns of movement.