by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
After exercising for a while, you might have noticed that one of your arms, chest pecs, legs, or that even one of your traps is bigger than the other. You also may have noticed that one of the others is stronger than the other. You ask yourself, why?
Well, this something that in which you are not alone in. It happens to many others, be it from inactivity, or from neglecting a muscle. Those who encounter this issue more than anyone, are those new to bodybuilding. But, this is something you have control of. It tends to happen when you are either leaning too much to one side while you are doing a push-up, or when you pull more with one lat than the other in pull-ups. Simply put, when you add more weight to one side than the other in any exercise you may perform.
This muscle imbalance can also occur when contrary muscles provide a different direction of tension because of tightness. When your muscles are too tight, your joint has a habit of moving towards that direction and is kept from the contrary direction since this is normally the area of less resistance.
What can you do to stop this and fix it?
Practicing proper execution
Practicing proper execution can help prevent this muscle imbalance by insuring that the muscle which you have targeted are doing the work, but even better, it makes sure that both sides are using an equal amount of force.
Concentrating On The Weak Side
If you have a side that’s weaker than the other, you should concentrate more on using and squeezing that muscle to make that the other side is not getting all of the action while performing the movement.
Unilateral Movements To Target The Imbalanced Muscle Area
Doing 3 or 5 extra sets focusing mainly on the weak side will the body learn how to better activate the fibers of muscle found on that side. Here are some supersets that will help you out with the muscle imbalance:
Supersets #1: Chest
You will use the Incline Bench to press 4 sets of about 10 to 15 reps , then you will switch over to doing unilateral dumbbell presses of 4 sets with up to 10 to 15 reps.
Make sure that you use a light enough dumbbell to be able to balance yourself.
Now, you will do some chest dips with up to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps, and then move onto doing unilateral incline flyes with up to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Supersets #2: Shoulders
For this area, you will perform unilateral lateral raise of up to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps. Now, move onto upright rows with up to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Next, you will do some bent over laterals with up to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Last of all, do unilateral shoulder dumbbell presses with up to 15 to 20 reps.
Ok, and what should you do if one side is extremely bigger than the other? What do you do then? Well, if this is the case like it usually happens with athletes, then I suggest that you dedicate your first 5 minutes of the exercise at hand only to the side that is causing the problem.
Bottom line is, that when it comes down to bodybuilding, you have to be really careful with what you do. Proper execution is the key to avoiding this issue and dedication to fix it is also required. You cannot sit around complaining and hoping the problem will go away nor continue doing the same execution of the exercise in your routine. You should also remember to always warm up the muscles you will be exercising before carrying out the exercise.
Planning out your routine and setting realistic set and rep goals is also a big deal. Sometimes just jumping into an exercise is not that simple and can cause much damage, especially when you are a beginner and go into the exercise thinking that you can perform 100 + bench presses, pull-ups, or whatever the exercise maybe. Plan out and set a realistic goal like 10 to 20 reps if you are new to exercising. Take into consideration your body´s limits!