How To Fix Muscle Imbalances
If you’re like most mortal beings, there are high chances that you have at least one muscular imbalance. Your right bicep might be bigger than the left or your right quad might be more striated than the left.
Before we begin, let us tell you that there is nothing wrong with muscle imbalances, and you shouldn’t panic if you have one. Muscle disproportions are a common phenomenon. If you are right-handed, there are high chances that your right limbs are stronger than the left.
Start Your Exercises With The Weaker Side
Every individual has a particular side he starts his exercises with. For example, you might always start with your right side when performing exercises like the dumbbell bicep curls, walking lunges, bent-over dumbbell rows, etc.
Our minds get into an overdrive mode as soon as we lift the weights and we subconsciously begin a set with the same side every time. If your mind-muscle connection isn’t great, you might start to develop a muscle imbalance over time. If you’re suffering from the problem, it’s time to switch your starting side.
Unilateral exercises are the lifts where you perform the desired numbers of reps on one side before switching sides. In the orthodox exercises, there are chances of the dominant side taking over which can lead to the weaker side lagging.
This technique allows you to effectively isolate one side of the body and control the total training stimulus. You’ll also be able to establish a better mind-muscle connection as you only need to focus on one muscle at a time.
Raise Your Training Intensity
When some people notice a muscle imbalance, they reduce the work they do with their dominant side. This is a noob mistake. Doing this isn’t going to fix your muscle imbalance. It’ll only make your stronger side weak and the lagging side weaker.
Following on from the point above, you should start with the weaker side first and you can let it determine the amount of work your stronger side does. Doing this will stop it from outworking the weaker side.
Do Additional Work on the Weaker Side
One of the most effective ways of fixing a muscle imbalance is to put more miles on the weaker side. For example, if you perform 10 dumbbell curls on your stronger side, you should perform 12 on the weaker until the muscle imbalance curve flattens.
On the other hand, you could also increase the load on your weaker side while performing the same number of reps on both sides. For example, perform 10 reps using a 20lb dumbbell on the stronger side and a 22.5lb dumbbell on the lagging side.
Go to the Root of the Problem
Finally, you need to figure out what is causing the muscle imbalance. If you don’t get to the root of the cause, it’s highly likely that it may occur again in the future at some point. The issue generally is with your training technique, occupational activity or mobility.
Once you know the problem you can work on improving your technique, flexibility or mobility. Working on that area which will help ensure the imbalance doesn’t come back after you’ve fixed it.