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  1. #1
    Registered User buhussain's Avatar
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    Question body left side muscle size is smaller than right side.

    hi guys,,,
    my problem is some of my body (left side) muscles like chest, thighs, biceps and triceps are smaller than the same muscle on the right side, i need to know why and how i can fix this please.
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    Originally Posted by buhussain View Post
    hi guys,,,
    my problem is some of my body (left side) muscles like chest, thighs, biceps and triceps are smaller than the same muscle on the right side, i need to know why and how i can fix this please.
    My friend has Poland Syndrome which sounds like this...google it and check it out to see if its the same as you? If so nothing you can do as he can testify.
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  3. #3
    Registered User jjrep's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by buhussain View Post
    hi guys,,,
    my problem is some of my body (left side) muscles like chest, thighs, biceps and triceps are smaller than the same muscle on the right side, i need to know why and how i can fix this please.
    If your problem is skeletal...not every one is 100% symetrical. Even our faces...hold mirror to show the reflection of the right side of your face and then do the same on the left side...looks alot different. As far muscular size difference..work out with dumbbells rather than barbells. This will force both sides to work evenly..you will eventually see your smaller weaker side catch up to the other.. If your doing exercises that alternate left and righ such as seated dumbbell curls always start with your weaker side so that both sides do the same work, Ie when you've gone to failure on your weak side you'll know when the strong side is done. Also to mix in different exercises, find a gym that has isolateral machines such as hammer fitness. These too will help work left and right evenly.
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  4. #4
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Mine have never caught up.....My Left arm and left pec and left lat are bigger, my right quad and calf are bigger. Seems like I am split at the waist!

    Just workout and they will balance somewhat....but there are always some differences.
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  5. #5
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by buhussain View Post
    hi guys,,,
    my problem is some of my body (left side) muscles like chest, thighs, biceps and triceps are smaller than the same muscle on the right side, i need to know why and how i can fix this please.
    How long have you been weight training?
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  6. #6
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    I tried working with DB's almost exclusively for about a year and the imbalance never seemed to level out. I just gave up and figure it is what it is. The biggest annoyance for me recently is the extreme difference between my left and right Lat. Maybe I should go back to the DB's as it seems to be getting worse. Interestingly enough, though my left arm is quite a bit smaller, it appears to be stronger when I do single arm exercises.
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    Registered User MazberryDelight's Avatar
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    I had a visibly smaller left lat then right, I started doing wide grip pullups to try and balance it , it took a year but both sides are now nearly the same size
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  8. #8
    NAS Strongman bigtallox's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jjrep View Post
    As far muscular size difference..work out with dumbbells rather than barbells. This will force both sides to work evenly.
    Broscience. You don't need dumbbells to insure that both sides work evenly. Barbells still allow each hand to move independently in the direction of the movement, the only degree of freedom constrained by a barbell is the distance between your hands. If you start a lift with you hands even on the barbell with the barbell horizontal, and finish the lift with the barbell horizontal, then both hands have done the same amount of work against gravity.

    And, weaker doesn't necessarily mean smaller muscles, you can be weaker on one side for a number of reasons ( like nerves being shut down ). Also, if by looking in the mirror it looks like one side is smaller than the other, many times it's a structural issue and not that the muscles are actually smaller or weaker. IMHO you should have structural issues address to correct the real problem, trying to train one side more or less than the other will not correct structural issues.
    Last edited by bigtallox; 10-10-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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  9. #9
    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bigtallox View Post
    .. IMHO you should have structural issues address to correct the real problem, trying to train one side more or less than the other will not correct structural issues.
    Part of my imbalance comes from a broken collar bone in college. It has changed the entire geometry of my upper body. My right shoulder actually sits in about an 1" farther. (my left side upper body is developed more, (the non-broken side)) I have to wonder if this does not contribute to this muscular imbalance. It is pretty big imbalance too. Almost 1/2" in the arm....and chest and lat are much more developed on my non-broken side. I have never been able to bench well since breaking it. I always feel a tendency for the broken shoulder to roll inwards, destabilizing my lift. Although my bench numbers are 'respectable' (330-340 range) they are not anything to boast about.

    Still does not explain the opposite on my lower body again almost 3/4" in my quad....but....oh well. I really am the only one that notices...unless I point it out.
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  10. #10
    Registered User jjrep's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bigtallox View Post
    Broscience. You don't need dumbbells to insure that both sides work evenly. Barbells still allow each hand to move independently in the direction of the movement, the only degree of freedom constrained by a barbell is the distance between your hands. If you start a lift with you hands even on the barbell with the barbell horizontal, and finish the lift with the barbell horizontal, then both hands have done the same amount of work against gravity.

    And, weaker doesn't necessarily mean smaller muscles, you can be weaker on one side for a number of reasons ( like nerves being shut down ). Also, if by looking in the mirror it looks like one side is smaller than the other, many times it's a structural issue and not that the muscles are actually smaller or weaker. IMHO you should have structural issues address to correct the real problem, trying to train one side more or less than the other will not correct structural issues.
    That's a good point about barbells and i forgot to mention that you can still cheat or favor one side with barbells and still lower or raise the weight while keeping the bar level by shifting the weight. i have to pay close attention to my form other wise I'll shift to the left on bench press..I'm right handed but seem to get more power from my left on push exercises and more from my right when pulling.
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  11. #11
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    hey

    I seem to have this sort of problem. But mine is actually the lentgh of my lat. like from my head to the end of my shoulder on the left side is approx 1 inch different (longer)than the right side. I am right handed if that makes a difference and I played baseball for 13 years and It seems more noticable since i started really working out last year. I was wondering what I could do to fix this. Just seems like the right side is so much shorter and needs to be longer....
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    My trap muscle I mean lol
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    Originally Posted by bigtallox View Post
    Broscience. You don't need dumbbells to insure that both sides work evenly. Barbells still allow each hand to move independently in the direction of the movement, the only degree of freedom constrained by a barbell is the distance between your hands. If you start a lift with you hands even on the barbell with the barbell horizontal, and finish the lift with the barbell horizontal, then both hands have done the same amount of work against gravity.

    And, weaker doesn't necessarily mean smaller muscles, you can be weaker on one side for a number of reasons ( like nerves being shut down ). Also, if by looking in the mirror it looks like one side is smaller than the other, many times it's a structural issue and not that the muscles are actually smaller or weaker. IMHO you should have structural issues address to correct the real problem, trying to train one side more or less than the other will not correct structural issues.
    Good point, yes you can still cheat with dumbbells. Im not sure I would dismiss it as bro science though. It would be hard to argue that you use as many stabilizing muscles, or have to focus the mind as hard when using a barbell as you would dumbbells. I train with both. For me in regards to correcting a size difference from right to left I have employed the use of dumbbells and was able to correct a left to right difference in size and strength. I train primarily for size not strength, which I guess is the difference.

    I would be able to at this point in my journey be able to focus the energy to a weaker side when performing barbell movements. I doubt a newbie would have the mind muscle connection to do that.

    Every time I have trained someone and
    noticed a weak side on bench. Getting them to slow down and focus on dumbbells for a few weeks, always either corrects it or helps it greatly.
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    Recovering Weakling RT1957's Avatar
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    Due to a couple different injuries my left leg is over an inch smaller than my right and significantly weaker. I've done a lot of unilateral work and it's helped. At one time my left leg was close to 2" smaller so doing split squats and steps ups, walking lunges and single leg leg presses have helped. I'm gonna keep after it and see how close I can get them. My arms are the same size but the bicep on my left arm is bigger than my right and my right triceps is bigger than my left but both arms measure the same. I dislocated my left shoulder when I was 10 and when they set it they set it a little twisted and my rear delt on my left shoulder is very small compared to my right. That's the biggest difference I see in my body.

    If you notice Arnold never showed is left bicep in any single arm pose it was always his right....were all out of balance in some way. Every body builder will only show poses that show there good sides.
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    Start your workouts with the weak side.
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    Registered User Vic1123's Avatar
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    Try switching your barbell exercises for dumbbells! Your left side might be dominant and taking over the majority of the work during your exercises. Using dumbbells instead of barballes for things like bench press and shoulder presses will force each side of your body to take on the same amount of work!
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    Registered User STUART1963's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by buhussain View Post
    hi guys,,,
    my problem is some of my body (left side) muscles like chest, thighs, biceps and triceps are smaller than the same muscle on the right side, i need to know why and how i can fix this please.
    When I first started training the first thing I did was measure my calfs, legs, arms, waist and chest and discovered my left bicep was a 1/4 inch smaller than my right. My left thigh was just over 1/4 inch smaller than my right and my left calf was 1/2 inch smaller than my right. I would do extra sets on these body parts in order to correct this. For me it never worked, in fact my left leg extensions are slightly better than my right (can usually get 1 or 2 reps more out), but size wise the right is STILL bigger. I still try to do an extra set on my left side... But kinda given up on it, its not something anyone would notice.

    Still, I do feel a little better knowing I am not the only one. with this kind of problem.
    Last edited by STUART1963; 11-16-2013 at 09:34 AM.
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