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obliques symmetry question

Posted: Mon May 05, 2008 9:49 pm
by rusky
Hi everyone,

I have an imbalance in my obliques. The left side is slightly smaller then the right. So my question is how do I fix that? How do I isolate the left oblique, what exercise would do that?

I have a sneaking suspicion that it's impossible to isolate one side of the obliques. If that's true then what would place more relative intensity on the left side?

Thanks you, I appreciate your replies.

Posted: Mon May 05, 2008 10:17 pm
by brook011
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Obl ... eBend.html

I do that, and for flair, I put my arm on my other side like a teapot ;)

Re: obliques symmetry question

Posted: Mon May 05, 2008 10:37 pm
by Stephen Johnson
rusky wrote:Hi everyone,

I have an imbalance in my obliques. The left side is slightly smaller then the right. So my question is how do I fix that? How do I isolate the left oblique, what exercise would do that?

I have a sneaking suspicion that it's impossible to isolate one side of the obliques. If that's true then what would place more relative intensity on the left side?

Thanks you, I appreciate your replies.
The old symmetry bugaboo.

Contrary to popular opinion, few (if any) people are perfectly symmetrical. Unless there is a glaring difference between one side and the other, it is much ado about nothing.

In all likelihood, you are right handed and use your right side more, which is why your left side is slightly smaller.

The key to bringing a weak side up is to do the same number of reps, sets and weights for both sides, stopping exercise when the weaker side tires. Eventually, the two sides will be closer in appearance. But they might never be exactly the same.

As for exercises, try these:

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Pow ... hPull.html
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Ere ... dlift.html

My favorite oblique exercise is a twisting toss of the medicine ball, but you'll need a partner and a medicine ball to do it.

Posted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:22 pm
by rusky
I'm know it's pretty much impossible to be perfectly symmetric although that would be nice :), and I'm actually left handed but that's beside the point.

I've always been curious about what side is getting worked more when you do side bends with the weight in your left hand for example, so if anybody knows please share.
The key to bringing a weak side up is to do the same number of reps, sets and weights for both sides, stopping exercise when the weaker side tires
From what I've read that's not the way to address muscle imbalances:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/betteru46.htm
This authors states that doing more weight and reps on the weaker side is the way to go.

Anybody got thoughts on which way is better/correct?

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 5:23 am
by pdellorto
As far as I know, Side Bends work the opposite side primarily. And yes, you do look like a teapot.

+++

I think either method - either work the strong side the same as the weak side OR work the weak side harder - would work.

The first method essentially keeps you from getting more lopsided and lets your weaker side catch up. You're restricting the strong side to work as much as the weak side.

The second method makes the weak side work harder to catch up. That may work, but if you're already working near your capacity for work, adding extra work to the weak side might be more catabolic (muscle-consuming) than anabolic (muscle growing).

But done properly either can work. I always work weak side first so I'm pretty symmetrical in terms of arm size, leg size, etc. but my "main" hand still has a bit more strength because of the inevitable extra work it gets from opening doors, being the primarily lifting hand in day-to-day work, etc. I push my off-hand really hard but strength symmetry still eludes me.

Peter

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 7:08 pm
by VoK
I have the same condition and I believe it's partially because I am right handed and partially because of genetics.

My left shoulder is smaller than my right shoulder, but my left tricep is bigger. My right quad is bigger than my left (I jump off my right leg) but my left calves are bigger than my right.

Why is this so? I have no idea.

Either way, I train them as if there's no difference.

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 7:14 pm
by ironmaiden708
When doing unilateral lifts, (ex: db curls) start with the weaker side so when you get to failure on that side you don't keep lifting with the dominant side.

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 8:12 pm
by Chris_A
ironmaiden708 wrote:When doing bilateral lifts, (ex: db curls) start with the weaker side so when you get to failure on that side you don't keep lifting with the dominant side.
I believe you meant unilateral. Bilateral exercises require both limbs (arms or legs) at the same time.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... i_86233385

Posted: Tue May 06, 2008 8:14 pm
by ironmaiden708
Ahh you are correct. My bad.

Posted: Wed May 07, 2008 3:22 am
by Jungledoc
Rusky--just be thankful that you can tell which oblique is larger! Some of us are hoping to get our obliques uncovered enough so that we can tell. :)

That's the second smiley I've used today. I'd better slow down.