My left arm is weaker than my right when I do bicep work and tricep isolation. I'm thinking that a good way to solve this would be to only do as many reps/sets as my left arm can manage and do the same reps/sets with the same weight for my right arm. This will mean that my right arm will find the workout quite easy and won't get the same stimulation, but in time both my arms will be the same strength and I can then progress from that point with equal arms.
Is this a good way go about it? Or would i be better off using less weight for my left arm, which doesn't sound ideal because my left arm will stay weaker.
I ask because today was back/bicep day and when I did bicep curls I did great with my right arm but my left arm couldn't complete the 2nd and 3rd sets so for my left arm I'm obviously using too much weight.
Last edited by JConrad; 10-15-2006 at 05:07 PM.
I have the same exact problem as you but my right is weaker. I just do 55 in my left hand and 50 in my right. Seems do be working for me. Any other insight that you people know of would be very helpful. Thanks alot.
Scrap the isolation movements, seriously. Concentrate on bringing up your barbell rows, pullups, bench, and military presses.
With the big movements going up, your arms will equal out over time. Fix the engine, then fine tune the intakes, so to speak.
If one arm is way weaker than the other, doing heavy compounds will force the weaker arm to catch up. It's only a matter of time. It's the same with improving your grip holding strength - do heavier movements.
Works for me.
I do plenty of compounds already on back/bicep day. 3 sets of barbell rows, 3 sets of one-arm cable rows and 3 sets of rear delt rows - all 3 of these work the biceps and I finish off with bicep isolations. For some reason I have no problem with the compounds, both arms can do the same (I know that arms are only part of the compounds) I just want to even out the isolation work.Originally Posted by jkirkpatrick
Try going heavier. If you can squeeze out six sets, try to go for a maximum of four sets. Increase the weight so that you can only do four sets and no more. Push your body harder than what it's use to and see how, aside from your back, your arms respond.Originally Posted by JConrad
I'm going to have respectfully disagree. I have imbalance issues that remain unsolved despite using almost all major compound movements. My stronger side just takes up the slack of the weaker side and the imbalance remains. If you want to even out, you need to work the weaker side harder than the stronger side and that will never happen using a BB. This is the exact reason people use dumbells.Originally Posted by jkirkpatrick
Currently my right lat is smaller and weaker than the left and when I do chins, I pull myself up unevenly no matter how hard I try to be symmetrical. So now I am doing DB rows with one extra set for the weaker side.
Last edited by Vapour Trails; 10-16-2006 at 03:58 PM.
That's a picture of Scarlett Johansson.
Bold is my emphasis. If your stronger side takes over, then the shift of weight will be to your weaker side. If I am doing bench and my right arm is stronger, then the push on my right side will be stronger resulting in an uneven bar that is not parallel to the ground. It will slope to my left side, putting more stress on that side (as it isn't pushing its weight). The result- the left arm has to push relatively harder (strength wise) to keep the barbell from tipping over.Originally Posted by Vapour Trails
Same is true for barbell rows. Pull harder with the stronger arm, more weight shifts to the other side.
You can't one-arm these movements. One side does not make up for the weaker side. If that is true, then you I could do a one-arm barbell bench and a one-arm barbell row (as a exaggeration for illustrative purposes). One arm may be stronger, yes, but ultimatley the weaker arm has to pull its fair load or the movement can't be done.
People use dumbbells for many things, of which one would be a different range of motion, the ability to hit more stabalization muscles, safety (the ability to bail if needed) and yes, to increase strength on side of the body.
I still feel that compounds will hit your weaker side harder than using dumbbells as an attempt to isolate the problem. The weaker side has to push/pull its share of the weight to keep the barbell even and the movement in a controlled and safe plane of movement. Isolation movements have their place, but I maintain that they should not be used to try to bring up a weak body part to snuff, if a compound movement is available.
If pullups are your weakness, then maybe an emphasis on heavy barbell rowing, or T-bar rowing would do you better than one-arm dumbbell rows? I know how much I can max out one-arm dumbbell row and it's nothing compared to my max barbell row.
Like Drew said,. Move as much weight as you possibly can as a unified body and the body will respond. Lifting to correct imbalances can result in overtraining one part in an attempt to fix a weakness.Originally Posted by Drew
Edit: This is a good discussion so no need to take my comments as anything but sincere.
Last edited by jkirkpatrick; 10-16-2006 at 06:19 PM.
that is a terrible way to work your armss.... if you keep doing that then your left is always gona be stronger than your right..... use dumbells and stop when one arm fatigues. eventually they will be at the same strenght...Originally Posted by Berger
Start lifting heavy.
I am Ripper. Tearer. Slasher. Gouger. I am the Teeth in the Darkness. The Talons in the Night. Mine is Strength. And Lust. And Power!
Stats: Age: 33 Weight: 215 Height: 5'6"
Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:520 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220
Exercise the weaker arm first. Then match what you just did with the stronger arm. Don't use different weights or more reps. Over time it will balance out.
I had the same problem.. I just started doing barbell instead of dumbbells and my left arm cought up pretty quickly...
you could sacrifice some improvement in your stronger arm by using dumbells at a weight where u can reach your target reps with your weaker arm even if this doesn't improve your strong arm it should bring your weaker arm up to speed until your training weight is equal for each arm
So you're agreeing with my original post. Did you do this yourself?Originally Posted by roscoe24