T Nation

Vastus Medialis Imbalance


#1

Hi all, I've got a problem with my quads in that my left VM looks much more developed than my right. I don't notice a strength difference in either leg however I don't do much unilateral work for my legs.

My quad workouts consist normally of a mix of full back and front squats, leg press, OH squats and ill occasionally throw in some leg extensions or lunges. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this?


#2

I think you answered your own question.


#3

If anything, my right leg is a little bigger and stronger than my left since it is my dominant side but my VM is less developed. What unilateral exercises would you suggest?

I have the same sort of problem with my chest. My left pec is noticeably bigger and fuller than my right, but my right side is stronger. Anyone else have this sort of problem?


#4

Ding, Ding, Ding!!!

We have a winner!

Are you competing as an Olympic lifter or for some other sport? Or are you going for looks?

Use more unilateral exercises (one-legged squats - the real ones; Bulgarian split squats, lunge variations, step ups). You can do the same for upper body (dumbbell bench presses and variations, one-arm dumbbell bench presses, etc.).


#5

I think Bulgarian splits on the one leg would be the best solution. It really hits the VM and the glutes hard. Do them only on the on leg until it has caught up.
Actually, this may be hard to do, but try training the one leg 3 to 4 times a week, while not training the other. It will drive you crazy, but it should catch it up.


#6

I'm mostly going for looks but I like to train for functional strength as well

What I'm thinking of doing is training my right leg every other day at the end of my normal routine while still doing my normal leg workout once a week. How does that sound?

The thing with my upper body is my right side is already stronger than my left, so wouldn't focusing on one arm bench press for my right create a greater strength imbalance?


#7

Unilateral Leg Work would be a good way to fix the problem but it might not be the root of your problem. Plenty of strong, symmetrical people have built their legs without unilateral movements. Split Squats, Step ups, and Lunges do kick ass since you can increase the load you're using faster than you can with squats, and they do offer good variety, but they're not essential to building strong legs...they're just really helpful.

What's really important is that you check to see if your stance and body position is symmetrical in the big lifts. And if you do a lot of staggered starts or a lot of jerks where you always put 1 foot forward instead of the other you should correct your poor symmetry and start doing your split jerks with alternating split stances.


#8

I don't really like that idea, a lot of people have imbalances and they are hard to fix. Still your best best is to do single-leg work like stepups, lunges, bulgarian split squats and pistols (if you can do those).


#9

Sometimes one side will develop faster than the other. Most of the times its genetic. Arnold's right arm was bigger than his left. You might find if you just continue your regular exercises that your left leg will catch up. It happened with my lats. The left one was smaller than the other for a while but after some time it caught up. Never did any unilateral work. I'm not saying it wouldn't work, just adding in some more ideas.