Find the best way to fix muscle imbalance in arms and ways to prevent it. Learn what causes muscle imbalance in arms and correct it with the proper workout program.
Any person engaged in the gym training, lifting weight or any form of physical activity runs the risk of getting a muscle imbalance. Muscle imbalance affects your workout and appearance of your body. Muscle imbalance is mostly seen in arms as the strength of both the arms are different. It is important to take care of your weaker arms while doing the workout. Let’s see what is muscle imbalance in deep and harm muscle imbalance can cause and ways to fix muscle imbalance in arms.
What is muscle imbalance
Almost all skeletal muscles in our body are paired and located symmetrically right and left. Muscular imbalance is a violation of symmetry, a mismatch between the size and strength of paired muscles or muscle groups.
In some cases, the imbalance can be seen, for example, when one arm or pectoral muscle is significantly larger than the other, in others the difference is not so obvious, but it is felt during training.
For example, if one hand is stronger than the other, during the bench press, the balance of the bar can bend one way, since a strong hand will push it up faster.
Also, an imbalance can occur between the main muscle groups, for example, back and chest, triceps and biceps, the upper leg and the muscles of the shins.
It not only looks bad and reduces sports performance, but it can also lead to injury. For example, if the athlete has chest pumping and poorly developed back muscles, this increases the risk of injuring the shoulders.
In addition, muscle imbalance leads to poor posture. For example, weak back muscles and rigid compressed muscles of the press are characteristic for stooped posture, and hard muscles-flexors of the hip can cause excessive deflection in the waist.
Causes muscle imbalance
There is no perfectly symmetrical body. Genetics influences the strength of muscles and their predisposition to hypertrophy, but other factors play a major role in the imbalance.
Poorly composed program or lack of it
Men often prefer to swing their chests, shoulders and arms, while forgetting about their back and legs. Women pay all attention to the legs and buttocks, afraid to do exercises on the arms and shoulders, so as not to become a pumping.
As a result, both of them get a muscle imbalance and an asymmetric body that is far from ideal.
Not maintaining proper form
If you do not follow the correct technique during the exercise, the load may shift to one side.
Suppose you have more developed back muscles on the right side. When you do one arm dumbbells row with the right hand, the muscles of the back stand the load, you observe the correct technique. On the left side, the weak muscles of the back give up quickly, the load shifts to the shoulders.
If you do not pay attention to it, the muscles on the right side will become stronger, there will be a noticeable muscle imbalance and a risk of injuring your shoulder.
Insufficient mobility of the joints
Many people spend all day at the desk, keeping the wrong position of the body. From this, the muscles become ensnared, become rigid and limit the mobility of the joints.
The body compensates for the lack of mobility by improper technique. As a result, some muscles receive too much strain, while others do not practically participate in the movement.
Determine if you have muscle imbalance in arms
The easiest way to determine the presence of asymmetry of paired muscles. Take the sartorial tape, measure the muscles on both sides and compare.
Measure the volume of arms in a bent state. So, you cannot squeeze the muscle with tape and reduce the size.
It is much more difficult to identify the imbalance between different muscle groups, because your judgments are subjective.
Try to soberly assess the compliance of different muscle groups. If you have an obvious imbalance, you will surely notice it.
Prevent muscle imbalance in arms
Add one-sided exercises
One-sided exercises are movements in which both paired muscles work, but separately from each other. Such exercises will help you avoid transferring the load from a weak muscle arm to a stronger one.
For example, doing a biceps curl with a barbell, you can shift some of the load from a weak hand to a stronger one. The bar will tilt, but you will be able to work with the chosen weight, with each repetition exacerbating the imbalance.
To prevent this, replace the barbell exercises with options with dumbbells or weights. If your weak hand does not cope with the weight of the dumbbell, you will have to choose the shells easier, so that the difference in the strength of the arm will not grow.
Start with weak arm
It is the smart decision if you start your workout with the weak arm. You start with the arm which you use the most i.e. your strong arm, but what about your weaker arm which causes muscle imbalance in arms, which can lead to some serious injuries. So it is necessary to give priority to your weak arm and also do as many reps which you can complete with your weak arm.
Develop mobility and maintain proper form
If your body lacks the joint mobility to perform the exercises correctly, it will compensate for the shortcomings with poor technique.
Pay attention to your limitations and try to correct them until they cause asymmetry or injury. Maintain proper form and keep the focus on your weak hand while performing the exercise to maintain proper form.
Correct muscle imbalance
To get rid of the imbalance of arms muscles, increase the number of repetitions for the weak side by 25-35%.
Let’s say your left hand is smaller than the right one. Usually, you do 3 sets of 10 dumbbell lifts to the sides. To strengthen the weak arm, add one more set of 10 repetitions only for the left arm.
Right hand you will do 30 repetitions, and left should complete 40 repetitions with the same weight.
If you do not want to increase the load on a weak muscle, perform the same number of repetitions on the strong and weak sides. To do this, always start the exercise on the weak side to find out how many repetitions and how much weight you can perform.
If any muscles look weak and undeveloped compared to others, just add more workload: increase the amount of exercise or working weight. However, the total load should remain the same.
For example, if you decide to swing your weak legs, you do not need to have a separate workout in addition to what you are already doing. This can result in overtraining and stop in progress.
Instead, you need to rebuild your workout in such a way as to make room for additional stress on your legs. You shift the emphasis to one group of muscles, eliminate the imbalance and have time to fully recover between sessions.
Muscular imbalance appears during training when one arm muscle is loaded more often and more than the other.
To prevent imbalance, you need:
- Do one-sided exercises that load paired muscles separately.
- Maintain proper form and technique of exercise while doing workout.
- Develop mobility of joints.
- To correct the imbalance, you need to make sure that the strong muscles do not get more load, and also increase the intensity of working out weak muscles.
Do not ignore your weaknesses, eliminate muscle imbalance in time, then you will increase your performance and reduce the risk of injury.