My right side is weaker than my left

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    Jul 23, 2012 12:57 PM GMT
    How do I balance them out!!?!

    I keep failing sets at the gym because my right side gives out. I don't want to train my muscle to fail but that seems to be happening. I need to fix this. For example with the chest flat bench pressI can do at least 4 more reps per set with my left as opposed to my right .

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    Jul 23, 2012 2:21 PM GMT
    I have the same problem. Sometimes it is visible, where a left muscle like my left thigh will visibly look bigger than the corresponding right muscle. Have tried three things.
    1) Never do more reps with the left than right the right. No sense in making myself more lopsided than I already am.
    2) Use exercises where the left and right sides function independently. For example, dumbbell press instead of straight bar press. Of course this is not always possible, but I use it as often as I can to ensure that the right side is not being assisted by the left.
    3) About 5 years ago I got massaged regularly by a kineseotherapist who used a painful technique similar to rolfing. The guy was able to recognize the left-right imbalance without me having to tell him, and he was able to completely correct it. Unfortunately I did not continue treatments and the imbalance slowly came back. Unless your health insurance has a generous benefit for alternative health, this is an expensive option.
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    Jul 23, 2012 2:26 PM GMT
    I disagree with the above post. I'd guess that you're either using machines or dumbells. If you switch to using a barbell with a challenging weight and keep good form (i.e., flat back lifting with the chest driving through the feet that are planted securely on the floor) you shouldn't favor one side or the other. If you start to fail to one side, back off the weight a little so you're using good form and completing the movement.
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    Jul 23, 2012 4:04 PM GMT
    imasrxd saidI disagree with the above post. I'd guess that you're either using machines or dumbells. If you switch to using a barbell with a challenging weight and keep good form (i.e., flat back lifting with the chest driving through the feet that are planted securely on the floor) you shouldn't favor one side or the other. If you start to fail to one side, back off the weight a little so you're using good form and completing the movement.


    haha ya I noticed actually using a barbell this morning that as I was failing my flat bench press rep, the left side was chilling while the right side was trembling/wobbling/falling.

    I think doing lifts that can be specific to one side could help me. Mainly because anything that uses both *arms for example* would just cause me to rely on the stronger arm when I am nearing that last rep.
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    Jul 23, 2012 4:12 PM GMT
    Switch sides...
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    Jul 23, 2012 4:23 PM GMT
    +1

    Haha, that was funny.

    Okay, you do what you want but I think doing single arm exercises isn't going to get you there unless you only maintain on your left while trying to strengthen your right. That's going to be pretty hard to do. Backing off the weight a little and doing good form with a barbell would be a lot easier and get you more balanced in the long run.
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    Jul 23, 2012 4:29 PM GMT
    imasrxd said+1

    Haha, that was funny.

    Okay, you do what you want but I think doing single arm exercises isn't going to get you there unless you only maintain on your left while trying to strengthen your right. That's going to be pretty hard to do. Backing off the weight a little and doing good form with a barbell would be a lot easier and get you more balanced in the long run.


    There is truth to this and thus I won't contest your advice. I'll see how both methods work out. Guess I will put my strength gains on hold before this spirals out of control.

    also, that comment was funny haha
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    Jul 23, 2012 7:52 PM GMT
    imasrxd saidI disagree with the above post. I'd guess that you're either using machines or dumbells. If you switch to using a barbell with a challenging weight and keep good form (i.e., flat back lifting with the chest driving through the feet that are planted securely on the floor) you shouldn't favor one side or the other. If you start to fail to one side, back off the weight a little so you're using good form and completing the movement.
    It is VERY difficult to not lead ever so slightly with the stronger limb. Its not impossible, but a surer path to balance is for the limbs to work out independently. Work the weak limb first, and do not exceed its effort with the stronger limb. There are some exercises, like pushups and curl machine where it is impossible to tell which arm is doing most of the work. So on those I try to concentrate more on the weaker limb. Anyhow, I don't think this problem can be corrected with lifting or form. I suspect with me it is related to a back injury 30 years ago, but I don't know. The only thing that ever fixed it temporarily was body work by an excellent practitioner. Maybe something like yoga would help, but I really don't know.
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    Jul 23, 2012 8:01 PM GMT
    If the right side is weaker, use that as your benchmark. Do any exercises that are independent for both sides so that you are working the right side first, then using that number of reps on the left. Hopefully the right side will catch up.

    If you are saying that *everything* on your right side (arm, shoulder, back, leg) is weaker, there is the *outside* chance that you may have a neurological problem or some other medical issue...