T Nation

Weak Left Arm/Shoulder


I've been doing p90x minus the leg workouts due to a knee injury (patella pain, that I'm about to start PT for) for a couple months.
It involves some basic dumbbell exercises, overhead presses, various curls, tricep extensions and of course tons of pushups/pullups.

I've had a problem with my left arm being weaker than my right. I can easily curl 30lbs in my right arm but only about 20 in my left. What I've been doing is lifting 20 in both and stopping when my left gives out and trying to push out a few more in the left with the assistance of my right hand. It hasn't had an immediate effect on the imbalance but I'm hoping that it will eventually even out.

Does this seem like the best approach? Any advice?

I'm 6'4"
32yrs old


for example - you do ohp and get 10 reps with your right arm,but only 6 with the left. keep going to you get all10 reps - like an extended set. it will catchup eventually


As long as its not an injury or impingement or something that would cause weakness, then yes you just need to train to get up to par with your other arm, assuming youre a righty? If its anything nerve related or like i mentioned before, extra sets will make it worse. If you notice no increase in strength or an actual decrease, you need to get that shit checked out.


Is it ok to assist the arm to get out those last few reps or should i do short rest breaks of a few seconds?

I do have a bit of pain from something I did to my front deltoid when doing pushups with bands a few months back, but the overall weakness of that side is more than just the shoulder. Biceps and triceps are both noticeably weaker. Not sure what I did to it but the front delt but it's something I've considered looking at. The only other odd thing that happens to my shoulder when doing presses and such is I'll feel cramping in it. It tightens up quite a bit, I usually lean over and do pot stirrer type shoulder relaxing move to get it to lose the tenseness. Not sure if that's just from weakness or an impingement/injury. It's more annoying than painful or impairing.

Thanks for both of the replys.


Short rest breaks, basically rest-pause until you get to whatever number of reps.