T Nation

Unbalanced Spinal Erectors

Hi…

Ive been lifting for 10 months… Last month in noticed that my right spinal erector is THICKER when viewed from the side. I think i got that from deadlift and overhead presses because i can feel the contaction more on the right side when doing those exercise…

Any advice to correct my imbalance is highly appreciated.

Thanks

[quote]Bragazzi wrote:
Hi…

Ive been lifting for 10 months… Last month in noticed that my right spinal erector is THICKER when viewed from the side. I think i got that from deadlift and overhead presses because i can feel the contaction more on the right side when doing those exercise…

Any advice to correct my imbalance is highly appreciated.

Thanks[/quote]

On what side of your body do you view yourself in the mirror?

[quote]Bragazzi wrote:
Hi…

Ive been lifting for 10 months… Last month in noticed that my right spinal erector is THICKER when viewed from the side. I think i got that from deadlift and overhead presses because i can feel the contaction more on the right side when doing those exercise…

Any advice to correct my imbalance is highly appreciated.

Thanks[/quote]

Stretch your hipflexors and assess your posture.

[quote]Bragazzi wrote:
Hi…

Ive been lifting for 10 months… Last month in noticed that my right spinal erector is THICKER when viewed from the side. I think i got that from deadlift and overhead presses because i can feel the contaction more on the right side when doing those exercise…

Any advice to correct my imbalance is highly appreciated.

Thanks[/quote]

Your spinal erectors travel up your entire back, however, I’m assuming that you’re referring to your lumbar erectors, since they are the most visible.

Many people have asymmetry in their muscles. If your strength is equal for both sides when performing unilateral exercises and you aren’t out of whack when you perform bilateral movements, then I would say it is just an aesthetics issue and I wouldn’t sweat it unless I was a bodybuilder. However, if your lumbar erector strength isn’t symmetrical, then the problem is dysfunction.

In this situation, I think that you need to determine the cause of the problem and fix it, rather than attempt to perform a new exercise to correct the imbalance.

If you had a pec imbalance or a bicep imbalance, you could simply perform added dumbbell work for the weaker side.

However, I don’t see how you can truly isolate one side of spinal erectors, since they extend and stabilize (prevent flexion) the lumbar spine. Both fire at the same time. Even when you perform single leg hip extension exercises like single leg Romanian Deadlifts or single leg 45 degree hyperextensions, you will feel both sides of the lumbar erectors firing, albeit not of equal magnitude (the side being worked fires harder).

The reason I don’t advise you to perfrom these exercises for only the weak side is because hip extension exercises involve the hamstrings and glutes. You might strengthen the weaker lumbar erector and solve that problem but then you’d also have stronger hamstrings and glutes on that side. This would still leave you “out of kilter.”

The best way to “isolate” the lumbar erectors is to perform rounded back extensions off a glute ham raise or swiss ball (curved surface) with bent knees. This makes it “lumbar extension” not “hip extension.” Perhaps you could do these while holding a dumbbell to one side, thus causing the weaker erector to perform more of the work.

[quote]Bragazzi wrote:
Hi…

Ive been lifting for 10 months… Last month in noticed that my right spinal erector is THICKER when viewed from the side. I think i got that from deadlift and overhead presses because i can feel the contaction more on the right side when doing those exercise…

Any advice to correct my imbalance is highly appreciated.

Thanks[/quote]

Send us a picture of your back with you holding a shoe and we will be able to give a better opinion.

[quote]timmwwaa wrote:
Stretch your hipflexors and assess your posture.[/quote]

I second this advice and would add to asses you ass and inner/outer thighs as well.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Bragazzi wrote:
Hi…

Ive been lifting for 10 months… Last month in noticed that my right spinal erector is THICKER when viewed from the side. I think i got that from deadlift and overhead presses because i can feel the contaction more on the right side when doing those exercise…

Any advice to correct my imbalance is highly appreciated.

Thanks

On what side of your body do you view yourself in the mirror?[/quote]

When viewed from the left.

[quote]Bragazzi wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Bragazzi wrote:
Hi…

Ive been lifting for 10 months… Last month in noticed that my right spinal erector is THICKER when viewed from the side. I think i got that from deadlift and overhead presses because i can feel the contaction more on the right side when doing those exercise…

Any advice to correct my imbalance is highly appreciated.

Thanks

On what side of your body do you view yourself in the mirror?

When viewed from the left.

[/quote]

What I was getting is turning in the mirror to even look at your back is going to cause those muscles to flex…which means they will not be relaxed and even. That means you don’t have much of a point unless a relaxed photo is taken of you from the back without you turning at all. In other words, of course part of your back is flexed WHEN YOU TURN SIDEWAYS TO LOOK AT IT YOUR BACK IN THE MIRROR.

[quote]bretc wrote:
Bragazzi wrote:
Hi…

Ive been lifting for 10 months… Last month in noticed that my right spinal erector is THICKER when viewed from the side. I think i got that from deadlift and overhead presses because i can feel the contaction more on the right side when doing those exercise…

Any advice to correct my imbalance is highly appreciated.

Thanks

Your spinal erectors travel up your entire back, however, I’m assuming that you’re referring to your lumbar erectors, since they are the most visible.

Many people have asymmetry in their muscles. If your strength is equal for both sides when performing unilateral exercises and you aren’t out of whack when you perform bilateral movements, then I would say it is just an aesthetics issue and I wouldn’t sweat it unless I was a bodybuilder. However, if your lumbar erector strength isn’t symmetrical, then the problem is dysfunction.

In this situation, I think that you need to determine the cause of the problem and fix it, rather than attempt to perform a new exercise to correct the imbalance.

If you had a pec imbalance or a bicep imbalance, you could simply perform added dumbbell work for the weaker side.

However, I don’t see how you can truly isolate one side of spinal erectors, since they extend and stabilize (prevent flexion) the lumbar spine. Both fire at the same time. Even when you perform single leg hip extension exercises like single leg Romanian Deadlifts or single leg 45 degree hyperextensions, you will feel both sides of the lumbar erectors firing, albeit not of equal magnitude (the side being worked fires harder).

The reason I don’t advise you to perfrom these exercises for only the weak side is because hip extension exercises involve the hamstrings and glutes. You might strengthen the weaker lumbar erector and solve that problem but then you’d also have stronger hamstrings and glutes on that side. This would still leave you “out of kilter.”

The best way to “isolate” the lumbar erectors is to perform rounded back extensions off a glute ham raise or swiss ball (curved surface) with bent knees. This makes it “lumbar extension” not “hip extension.” Perhaps you could do these while holding a dumbbell to one side, thus causing the weaker erector to perform more of the work. [/quote]

Thanks, here’s the illustration.
sorry i dont have a digicam.


sorry i dont have a digicam…

had asked my friend a week ago to look at my back and see if he can see any imbalances, he saw it right away.
I also had a massage earlier this morning from my GF and she told that the differece in size and when touched is just not normal…
thanks for the fast reply…

[quote]Bragazzi wrote:
sorry i dont have a digicam…

had asked my friend a week ago to look at my back and see if he can see any imbalances, he saw it right away.
I also had a massage earlier this morning from my GF and she told that the differece in size and when touched is just not normal…
thanks for the fast reply…
[/quote]

If you are concerned, go see a doctor. You could have scoliosis and are misdiagnosiing it by asking random questions on the internet. I doubt your friend or your girlfriend are qualified for it.

Ill have my back checked maybe next week… I just hope that its not a scoliosis.

I think I remember someone once saying that he could look at a lifters back and tell them which hand they gripped the bar underhand with, and which overhand, when they deadlift.

Could be wrong about that though, just a vague memory somewhere.

[quote]bobbity wrote:
I think I remember someone once saying that he could look at a lifters back and tell them which hand they gripped the bar underhand with, and which overhand, when they deadlift.

Could be wrong about that though, just a vague memory somewhere.[/quote]

Assuming it is true, this is easy to avoid simply by alternating your grip.

Absolutely - if it is true, then that is something our OP could keep in mind.