Archive for the tag - uneven muscles

How to Correct Muscular Imbalances.

legworkoutmain_0There’s no doubt that a solid and effective strength training program can yield some amazing results, but what happens when you notice imbalances in your muscular development? And how can you correct it?

First things first, there are a few types of muscular imbalances. There’s symmetrical imbalances wherein one bicep, for example, is bigger than the other. Imbalances between opposing muscles are also common. And lastly, there are general imbalances wherein one part of the body is developed and others are not – think chicken legs.

Also, keep in mind that correcting muscular imbalances isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. Sure, an imbalanced body doesn’t look cute. But imbalances can also be dangerous and increase your risk of injury.

If you experience a symmetrical imbalance and find that one muscle is becoming more developed than the same muscle on the other side of your body, there’s an easy fix. When you’re exercising, opt for dumbbell rather than barbell exercises. For example, when working your biceps, perform dumbbell bicep curls rather than barbell bicep curls. Unlike barbells wherein the resistance can be shifted to favor one side over the other, dumbbells ensure the same amount of resistance on both muscles.

When it comes to imbalances between opposing muscles, think of someone who has highly developed chest muscles and underdeveloped back muscles. In fact, this scenario strikes home for me. When I first started training, I ignored my back and focused on my shoulders and chest. Because the front of my body was so disproportionately developed, the result was shoulders that pulled in and a rounded back. It’s not a good look.

To prevent this type of muscular imbalance, ensure that you’re training agonist/antagonist muscle pairs. These pairs include:

  • Pectorals/latissimus dorsi (pecs and lats)
  • Anterior deltoids/posterior deltoids (front and back shoulder)
  • Trapezius/deltoids (traps and delts)
  • Abdominals/spinal erectors (abs and lower-back)
  • Left and right external obliques (sides)
  • Quadriceps/hamstrings (quads and hams)
  • Shins/calves
  • Biceps/triceps
  • Forearm flexors/extensors

Lastly, we’ve all seen guys with really big and obvious muscular inconsistencies. Most often, it’s guys with huge upper bodies and tiny, thin legs. To guard against this faux pas, create a workout program that trains your entire body. That means not forgetting the legs, bro.

3 Exercies to Correct Uneven Shoulders.

Dear Davey,

I was looking in the mirror the other day and realized that my right trapezius is larger than my left and it is noticeable. My friend recommended that I do shrugs whilst having a heavier weight on my left until it balances. Is this right – or is there a better way of evening my muscles out?

From,
Kieren

Hey Kieren,

First things first, the trapezius muscles (often called “traps” for short) are the large superficial muscles that extend up the back of your spine, out toward your shoulders and down your spine (see image). They help move the scapulae and support the arm.

Having uneven muscles is very common – and it’s fairly easy to correct. Whether it’s uneven biceps, glutes or traps, the strategy is very similar. Ditch the machines (unless they are iso-lateral) and barbells in favor of dumbbell workouts. Barbells can be a great part of any workout, and they’re particularly useful when working with very heavy levels of resistance. But with barbells, you’re able to favor one side over the other – and thus experience an uneven workout.

As an example, look at the barbell bench press. If my left pectoral muscle is weaker and less developed, I’m able to shift more of the weight onto my right side when performing presses. If I were doing chest presses with a dumbbell, on the other hand, I wouldn’t be able to shift the weight – and both pectoral muscles would be getting an equal workout.

With machines, it’s also easy to favor one side over the other – unless the machine is iso-lateral. With iso-lateral machines, each side moves independently of the other – and so, these can be used to correct muscular imbalances.

Doing dumbbell shoulder shrugs is a great way to build up your traps. Since you’re looking to build size, use the heaviest weight that still allows for 8 – 10 successful repetitions. You should experience failure on your last repetition. Do up to 4 sets as time allows.

Also consider dumbbell upright rows and reverse dumbbell flies.

Love,
Davey

How to Even Out Uneven Muscles!

Opt for dumbbells instead of barbells and machines for better body symetry.

I’ve received a whole slew of emails from folks looking to even out uneven muscles. From uneven pecs to uneven biceps, many of us have some degree of asymmetry in our bodies. A little asymmetry is completely normal – but if there are obvious unbalances, it’s easy to take action and correct things.

The solution is simple: Opt for dumbbells. There’s nothing fancy or magic about it. Unlike machines or even barbells, there is no way for your stronger side to compensate for your weaker side. When doing a bench press, for example, it’s possible to compromise form, shift the weight and favor the strong side. With dumbbells, it’s impossible to redistribute the weight.

Moreover, you may want to train the weaker side a bit more than the stronger side – until things even out. After you perform a set, do a few additional reps on the smaller side. This will help your weaker side play catch-up.

Replacing your barbell or machine exercises with dumbbell training is an easy and simple way to gain better body symmetry.