Muscle Balance Back

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Muscle Balance Back

Post by H.G. » Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:02 pm


Five months ago I had injured my back playing basketball. After I had injured it, I was unable to play basketball or any other sport for about a month. I saw a Physiotherapist at that time and he put on a core/back strength training program. Since then I have joined a gym and started a weight training program a 3-day split, including 40 minutes of cardio on each day, with my core/back training on the 7th day. Everything is going great, feeling better, losing weight, but I've noticed that there seems to be more muscle mass on the right side of my back than on my left (particularly the lower back region I think the muscle is called the Erector Spinae). My Physiotherapist even noticed it when he first examined me. Since I've started my excercise program, the imbalance seems to be more prominant. What exercises can I perform so that the left side of my back gains more mass and is evenly balanced with my right. I believe the muscle imbalance may have contributed to my back injury (since the injury occurred in the lower left region of my back) and I believe if the sizes are the same (balanced) it may help in preventing future problems.

The back exercises I perform include the following:
Erector Spinae - Weighted Back Extension (on hyperextension apparatus)
Lats - Cable Close Grip Pulldown
Back (General) - Lever Seated Row
Back (General) - Lever Bent over Row

In addition, I always feel more tightness/burn on the right side of my back than on my left after I complete the weighted back extension exercise. I would think that the left side of my back would feel more tightness as it is weaker that the right side.

Any advice would be appreciated.


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Post by TimD » Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:15 pm

There have been several threads on here about imbalances, and I agree that prevention would probably be the best cure. Your program looks OK to a point, for the mid to upper back, and if you read through the threads, try them on an iso-laterak machine, or use DB's, starting with the weak side first. However, with what you stated, i.e. the problem being with the erector spinae (the large cord going up the spine), I would suggest adding in one or two movements that accentuate it. 1 arm cleans, or snatches, or swings, starting with the weak arm first.These target the back/core.
Good training.

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Post by Ryan A » Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:17 pm

I am not sure what your current strength levels are but you can try doing single leg back extensions and actually asymmetrically perform them.

Work the left side first and then dont do more reps with your right side than your left side has done.

If you are fairly certain tha tyour right side is doing more work, you can do the regular ones first in an attempt to make your back tired, then do the different sides separately.

Also, you can just really try using equal effort from both sides at all times and try to focus on contracting the left side and see if you can get it to do some more work.

If you can not do single leg ones (this is jsut anchoring with one leg and activates the hamstrings quite a bit as well), then try doing them with both feet anchored but put emphasis on the sides separately.