T Nation

Traps Asymmetry


Before meeting Starting Strength I’ve used the same over-under grip my whole life.

I`m having a recurrent injury on my right lat, i think maybe It’s due to my uneven traps.

I don’t know how to deal with it.


Damn. Thats why I switch my grip every other set. Or if I'm doing 3 sets since im stronger with right hand underhand i'll do 2 first sets which are lighter with left underhand and for last heavier one i'll use right.


what should i do now?


Get your traps to a size where people will say "oh shit" rather than "those traps look uneven."


They look fine to me.

Get stronger.


Your over hand trap will end up being bigger. Switch grips often in training and your traps will even out over time.


Or try pulling hook grip.


Will it fix the problem?


I'm trying but i keep pulling my right lat while deadlifting, altough it didn't hurt enough to make me quit deadlifting for some time yet.


I honestly don't see any major imbalance. Over under will make the pull mechanics slightly different on one side. The under arm has greater chance of pulling a bicep and the over side may have a greater chance of pulling a lat (not completely sure about this). But if you are consistently pulling a lat muscle it is not solely due to grip. It's probably an indicator of a larger issue, your form could be off somewhere.

Personally I pull hook grip and I find it feels more "symmetrical". Just a personal preference. For what it's worth, my left trap is slightly bigger than my right but it doesn't really affect my lifts and it's not that noticeable so I don't really care.


maybe it is form indeed, i'll try recording next deadlift session.

Maybe i do have major side imbalances.


Although there may be a benefit to switching grips, in more than twenty years of training (& many powerlifting meets), the many lifters I know personally that have had the same grip for over a decade, Do Not have an asymmetry issue with their traps.


1 stop flexing... thats not going to help anything.

2 the only way to really fix an imabalance like that is to work the shit out of it. the mechanisms through which people build muscle, specifically where they build muscle, is different for everyone. Switching grips probably wont help. your body will use the same muscles to pull with regardless of where your hands are, double overhand being the exception i guess because that will get your thumb flexor muscles ripped!!, and regardless of how you do the deadlifts.

thats why some people say switching helps and then some people say they know other lifters who lift for 10 years with the same hand placement and have no issues. deadlifting is not the problem. the sequencing of the muscles you are using is the problem.

so, how does this really get fixed? work the hell out of your traps. barbell shrugs, db shurgs, band shrugs, seated db power cleans, and on and on until they get even. and who the hell knows, your traps might be fine. you could have something going on in the muscles that retract your scapulas. which actually would much better explain why you messed up your lat.

just my opinion.


Personally I just use straps for training. If your grip is not a weak point it shouldn't be a problem. But if it is, you would be better off training without them for a while.


holy smoke i didnt know SEATED db power cleans existed, just watched some vids and i am dumb-folded


The best way to fix symmetry problems is to work everything evenly with lots of volume (bodybuilding routine), don't ignore any bodyparts.

I'd also stop doing mixed grip.


It look to me like you shoulder is being held higher in the first pic, and in the later flexed pics you have it held down. any history of injuries, or activities during the day that might keep your shoulder in that position? Personally, I drive a ton, and I have a similar issue if I don't keep on my posture. look at your posture when not holding anything, relaxed, in a mirror. look at structural indicators like collarbone position and the angle your hands are held at, these can be clues. Do you stretch or foam roll?


I'd seriously listen to the posters before and stop doing mixed grip, or at least change the grips a lot.
I do mixed grip only when I lift the heaviest set, and I do two reps, one rep for each hand in each position.(left hand overhand first rep, then right hand overhand on the second rep)


I spend a lot time sitting, but i do train almost everyday like 3h at least, not just weights, but mma too. I do stretch, and i do ART with a tenis ball, maybe i should get a foam roller?


I use a single and a double tennis ball, a paperboard tube, and a foam roller. they all allow me to do slightly different things, but that's my deal, not everyone would need it all.