Hi all. To start -I apologize for the length of this, but I am an advanced lifter, with a complex program and no doctor/physio/chiro has been able to help me.
I’ve been lifting for 8 years now and used to compete as a bodybuilder. Approximately 3 years ago I started to develop very bad pain in my right elbow and right shoulder. Around the same time I also noticed that many of my lifts appeared to be asymmetrical. To this day I still have not been able to resolve this issue (The pain or asymmetry)
What seems to happen when I lift is that the barbell is crooked mainly on the horizontal plain. In other words, this is not a strength difference, but rather the bar is more forward on the right side and back on the left. The bar starts in that position before I do a single rep. If I just stand straight and hold a barbell in resting position to do curls, rows, whatever it will be slightly off.
At rest, if I just raise my arms over my head, the right hand is higher…giving the illusion that my right arm is longer than the left.
So when this issue first begun I tried to de-load and perform the lifts symmetrical and just could not. I noticed that I would be crooked trying to just curl a 30lb bar or bench press the bar itself. At that point, I became concerned and visited a sport med doctor, several Chiros and Physios. We’ve covered all the following and still the issue is present:
->Lots of soft tissue work
->Lots of strengthening of the lower traps and serratus anterior
->Lots of strengthening of mid trap area, while stretching pecs,lats,subscap
->Ultra sound of shoulder, no tears, but tendonosis of supraspinatus(right side)
->Took X-ray of Spine, no Scoliosis present
->We’ve noticed that the arch in my right foot is slightly flatter than the left - but I was told that the difference is less than 2-3mm. I wear orthotics for this and was told this could not be the root of my issue.
->Legs measured - same length
-Arms measured - same length
Now I’ve attached some photos for you guys to see what I mean. And i’ve also included some of my lifts which show the imbalance.
Here is what I’ve noticed so far myself:
-While training back, my tricep long head, rear delt and teres major seem to engage much more while compared to the left. They are also bigger than the left. However, my left infraspinatus and lat are bigger on the left.
-The day after training back my right teres major and tricep long head are always knotted up. I feel like they are compensating for SOMETHING and are always sore. I think that is why my right elbow hurts.
-My left pec is bigger than the right, while the right front deltoid is bigger than the left. During Benchpress and Dips, my right elbow always flares out more than the left.
-If you look at the pictures with my arms overhead, it appears that the entire right shoulder is moved higher than the left - giving the illusion that my right arm is longer than the left.
-I don’t recall ever having an acute injury…but I guess something must have happened which messed up my right side. Any ideas on what this could be? I’ve been struggling for this for a very long time and have stopped lifting for a while now since my right elbow and shoulder pain has gotten so bad
Pics and Vids are below:
Raising arms up front:
Raising arms up back:
Pull up video -
Lat pull down video -
Bench press -
( Less obvious in this, but if you look closely the angles of my forearms are off)
Shoulder press -