There’s NO Such Thing as Perfect Symmetry – What to do if the Right Side of my Body is bigger than the Left?


Shoulders, pectoral muscle, arms, face – my right side is larger. My right arm is my dominant hand and is therefore stronger. What can I do to have my left side catch up in terms of size and strength, for more ideal symmetry?
(This was asked by someone who doesn’t want to disclose his identity)

Note: I do not know what to do with the “face” part but for the rest, here’s my advice, please enjoy!

Your right side or whichever is your dominant side will ALWAYS be bigger. Perfect symmetry doesn’t exist even in advanced bodybuilders. Frank Zane has this to say about symmetry: (Frank Zane is my all-time favorite Mr. Olympia, who is yours?)

• People don’t really know what certain things mean. For example, round one is called the symmetry round. Nobody really knows what symmetry means. Symmetry just means that your left and your right side are the same. And nobody really has perfect symmetry. What they are talking about is proportion, is everything balanced?
It’s not symmetry. It’s part of that but its not what it is. People said that I had the world’s most symmetrical body. Nothing could be further from the truth because my body is relatively asymmetrical. The thing is I posed it asymmetrically. It’s much more interesting to pose you body asymmetrically. (source An Interview With Three-time Mr. Olympia Frank Zane.)

On my end actually my problem is my DOMINANT BICEPS; because my left and non-dominant biceps look better than my dominant right biceps although my left arm is much smaller than my right.

However there are ways to MITIGATE the size disadvantage of your non-dominant side. If you are noticing a really bad symmetry for your left side, try doing one side dumbbell with your non-dominant side after working out each body part.

-For instance do some 3 sets of unilateral lying one arm dumbbell bench press for your left side after your main chest workout.

-Do some 3 or 4 set of unilateral one legged squats AKA Bulgarian Split Squats after your leg workout. Off course do another 3 set of one legged hamstring curls as well.

(to do a Bulgarian split squat, put the non-working leg behind you on top of a platform – image courtesy of T-nation):

Split squats one legged squats

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-Do another 3 sets of unilateral left arm bicep curls after your biceps workout (for me I need to do more for my right side actually – weird right?)

-and so on….
I guess you already know what to do with your other body parts.

Technique on Posing

Frank Zane The Greatest of all Time

 

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Another way to mitigate this effect in posing (if you are competing) is to apply Zane’s way of posing where he puts the strong side on one side and the other on the other side to create the illusion of symmetry – watch some of his posing routines (and I am no expert on posing sorry). However you can refer to the Zane interview above where he shares his experience. Here’s Frank Zane’s story by the way.

Your Overall Form Can Affect your Symmetry (use smith machine)

Another thing that might fix your issue is your overall form. You might be using a bad form in your lifts which ultimately leads to imbalance. So have someone keep an eye on you whenever you lift (especially if its your first time lifting weights) to make sure that your form is not off.

Make sure you don’t look like this guy when you bench (image courtesy My fitness pal):

funny bench press

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Usually the case is that one side is above the other whenever you complete a rep. When you lift make sure that the barbell is on a direct line with the ground and completely straight, 180 degrees. One fix for this would be to include smith machine lifts for instance the bench press until you get used to it.

It Could Be Nerve Issues

Nerve issues – Or in rare cases your disproportion may be an issue with nerve flow. Have yourself checked by a licensed physician or Active Release Technique practitioners.

So to top it all off, forget about “perfect” symmetry, embrace the fact that your right and your left side will NEVER be of the equal size no matter how advanced you are, AND even the most “symmetrical” guy in Mr. Olympia history is not symmetrical either.

However one can do some steps (above) to make sure that his non-dominant side is catching up more or less with his dominant side. And off course, have himself checked by a professional if there is no underlying medical issue that is causing the imbalance.

Above I have shared with you my own issues regarding my bicep imbalance. Does anyone else have similar weird issues like that? Please share your opinions on the comments section below. If you think you have a friend who also has problems with symmetry, you can help him/her out by sharing this article with him using the share buttons below (tweet, share on Facebook, etc)

Hope that helps; eat your eggs, people!

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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