T Nation

Unequal Pull in Clean and Snatch

Hi
I have been training for 3.5 years. My bodyweight is 71kg now, max snatch is 82kg and max CnJ is 110kg. I have been having a problem with unequal pull for about 7-8 months now- I get a higher pull on the left side than the right side. In the beginning it wasn’t very serious, my right elbow would be a little lower during the clean but I could still lift without any problem.

About 2 months back I injured my right shoulder (hurts a little during warm-up but the pain goes away later, military/push press haven’t been affected much) and since then it has become very hard when lifting close to my max. In clean, the bar would be resting on my left shoulder while on the right I’d be holding it with my arm. In snatch, The bar would be locked above my traps on the left but the right would be some 5-6 inches to the front.

It obviously has to do with my shoulder injury, but I’ve been having this problem way before I got injured (I got injured not when training, but when I was bowling while playing cricket-kinda like pitching in baseball). I noticed that when I jump during the pull, my left leg extends more than my right.

When I’m squatting, the bar doesn’t lean to any side significantly but I can feel that I don’t push equally with both my legs. When I’m squatting/starting clean or snatch, my left foot points more outwards than my right and my right arm stays closer to the body.

Except the jerk (split), I don’t do any other non-symmetric exercise. Whenever I do lunges/split squats I do with both legs. I don’t sleep in very good positions and I often thought that is the reason for most of my training issues, but I can’t do anything about it.

Has anyone had similar problems? Any ideas to identify where exactly I got the imbalance or how to correct it?

Sorry I don’t have a good video to post yet, I’ll post one as soon as I can.

Thanks in advance

playing cricket and weightlifting is not a good idea mate. i used to bowl fast too . really bad for shoulders and back . stopped bowling completely. as far as muscular imbalance, i had a rotator cuff injury. i did some rotator cuff exercises and didnt do any push exercise for about 2 months. focused on squats and dls.

I don’t play regularly. I play once in a a few months and try my best not to go hard. But sometimes I just give in to the heat of the moment and try my best…

I’m not sure if my injury is serious. Except for the unequal pull, I hardly get to notice the injury. It hurts only when I’m close to locking out over head, and that too goes away after a few warm up sets. My military and push press are still the same as before I was injured. I’m still planning to take a couple of weeks off and do lots of lateral raises and cuban rotations.

I’m quite sure my problem goes beyond the shoulder injury and has a lot to do with my legs. I have just started to do single leg squats, hoping I can make my right leg a little stronger.

Another problem that has resulted from the imbalance is that I always feel a little uncomfortable in the right side of my lower back when I do cleans (not so much during snatch, and never during deadlifts/pulls)

any comments/suggestions?

v,
I would not recommend doing a lot of technical lifts if you cannot perform them correctly. If you are consistently favoring one side under heavy loads, you will eventually train yourself into muscular imbalances in your pelvic and shoulder girdles. Those are generally a recipe for chronic back pain and spinal alignment problems. I have a buddy that makes a pretty good living fixing up people who train themselves into those contorted states.

If you can’t do the movements with reasonably good form, drop back the weight, or get yourself fixed up before going back to training. Be disciplined with yourself, and tell your training partners to really scream at you when you are out of balance.

Thanks for the advice. I guess for the next 2 weeks I’ll drop down to 50-60% of my max and get a lot of reps with a more balanced form.
But that aside, can someone suggest something that can be done to identify which muscle is responsible for the imbalance?

Tough to say without video or pictures.