Is the left side of your body weaker than your right?
Most people feel that the left side of their body is weaker than the right side. Interestingly, left-handed people also feel the same way about their right side. A typical example is trying to churn out some bench presses with your left hand and noticing it wears off faster than your right hand which is the dominant one.
Observing this difference between your sides is extremely common says expert, in fact, your body not being perfectly symmetrical in size is very uncommon. This is not your fault or that of your exercise routine.
Although most gym workouts carried out tend to hit both sides evenly. You unconsciously use your dominant side which most times is your right more often than your weak side which is your left when you go about your daily routines.
While you may not consider this minor daily routine as an exercise. The more you repeatedly use one side, the more efficient your brain learns to fire to those particular muscles. This results in stronger muscles at that side and often larger muscles too.
Some people go through life without being able to observe these strength differences in their lives. Especially those who are both left and right-handed at the same time. Usually, it’s the exercise-oriented set of people who get to observe this imbalance more quickly.
Building similar strength on both sides may not be easy but it’s very possible. Experts recommend your perform exercise that load each side of your body separately. Some of these exercises include; Shoulder presses, dumbbell exercises, lunges, chest presses, biceps curls, dumbbell rows, triceps extensions, dumbbell squats.
Unlike some exercise machines and barbells, dumbbells do not let your stronger arm or leg pick up the slack from your weaker one. You can also try unilateral training and exercise like single-leg, single-arm shoulder presses, single-leg squats, single-arm rows, and single-arm chest presses.
Do not try to overwork your weaker side by performing more exercises/ reps with it as a way of balancing both sides, if you do so, you will end up burning it out because it will be forced to work harder.
By strengthening your weaker side, you’ll not only be lessening whatever imbalances that exist, but you will also be adding muscles. Muscle is a living tissue that requires calories to exist. By adding more muscle to your body, you will be raising your metabolism and forcing your body to burn more calories every day.
And in the long run that you observed noticeable differences between your right and left sides, you will see that difference slowly disappear.
HOW TO INCORPORATE THESE POINTS INTO YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE
- Start with your weaker side first: When performing an exercise that requires you to work both sides differently, start with your weaker side. Simply because you will be able to notice how pronounced the difference is when you go to your stronger side. This helps you get a better sense of how different each side is and feels when you are making progress. So if you happen to be right-handed, perform a set of bicep curls with your left arm first.
- Use weights that feel right for your weak side, not your strong side: Make sure the weights you are using are light enough for your weaker side to lift with good form. Even though it may feel like nothing to your stronger side, don’t be tempted to lift the heavier weight on that side because you will end up exacerbating the imbalance. Work your weaker side slowly till it becomes strong.
- Keep the number of reps the same on both sides: You should also perform the same number of reps on both sides. While at it, if you’re weak side feels very weak, it’s okay to give it a break. Wait for your weaker side to catch up and then move forward.
Your objective is to maintain the muscle mass on the stronger side until you offset the imbalance. So even though your stronger side doesn’t feel challenged, you will be giving your weaker side attention and creating some balance to your body which you’ll end up appreciating later.