i need advice on triceps symmetry

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uvhst3p
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i need advice on triceps symmetry

Post by uvhst3p » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:58 am

i posted this on my other thread but it didn't get much attention maybe because the title of the topic is wrong so i am making a new thread so that other people aside from me who are having this problem can get advice

guys, i have a problem with my triceps symmetry. it turns out that my left triceps almost equally works the long, lateral and medial heads. however, for my right triceps, the long head does most of the work, then the medial head, then the lateral head. is there any way to correct this?

i hope you understood that. maybe i can put it another way. in terms of strength per muscle size or muscle size symmetry or muscle growth, the "graph" would be like this:

LEFT TRICEPS
long head - II
lateral head - II
medial head - II

RIGHT TRICEPS
long head - III
lateral head - I
medial head - II

i have tried searching the internet for exercises that can work on the lateral head more. it turns out that the dumbbell kickback does this. so, with me enduring the pain on my right shoulder, i did the exercise. during the exercise however, i got disappointed because i observed my right triceps and even with the kickbacks exercise, the long head still does the work, then the medial head, then the lateral head so my triceps are still unequal. now there is more inequality in my triceps because the long head for my right triceps got bigger.

hmph! with results like this at the start of my weightlifting lifestyle, it lowers my morale and i feel frustrated and i don't feel like working out anymore so i desperately need your advice guys! thanks in advance


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Re: i need advice on triceps symmetry

Post by Stephen Johnson » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:13 am

uvhst3p wrote:i have tried searching the internet for exercises that can work on the lateral head more. it turns out that the dumbbell kickback does this. so, with me enduring the pain on my right shoulder
What exactly is the nature of your shoulder pain? It's probably no coincidence that you're experiencing pain in your right shoulder, and that you're dissatisfied with the development of your right tricep. The shoulder (specifically, the anterior deltoid) is a synergist with the triceps in pressing movements.

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Re: i need advice on triceps symmetry

Post by stuward » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:36 am

uvhst3p wrote:...
guys, i have a problem with my triceps symmetry. it turns out that my left triceps almost equally works the long, lateral and medial heads. however, for my right triceps, the long head does most of the work, then the medial head, then the lateral head. is there any way to correct this?

...
From your other thread it appears that you have just begun training. Don't pay any attention to symetry problems right now. Everybody has something, some worse than others. That's what you are born with.

Keep working hard focusing on large compound exercises. The only tricep exercises you should be doing right now are bench press, overhead press, and dips. Anything else is a waste of time until you build a base of strength and size.

In the short term, sort out your shoulder problem.

Stu

uvhst3p
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Post by uvhst3p » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:05 am

Stephen Johnson wrote:What exactly is the nature of your shoulder pain? It's probably no coincidence that you're experiencing pain in your right shoulder, and that you're dissatisfied with the development of your right tricep. The shoulder (specifically, the anterior deltoid) is a synergist with the triceps in pressing movements.
stuward wrote:From your other thread it appears that you have just begun training. Don't pay any attention to symetry problems right now. Everybody has something, some worse than others. That's what you are born with.

Keep working hard focusing on large compound exercises. The only tricep exercises you should be doing right now are bench press, overhead press, and dips. Anything else is a waste of time until you build a base of strength and size.

In the short term, sort out your shoulder problem.

Stu
what's the nature of my shoulder pain? hmmm....i don't know exactly. all i know is that there is only pain in my right shoulder, not my left, and only when i do dumbbell kickbacks. all other exercises, my shoulder feels okay.

awe man! that does not sound good. me having some kind of "birth defect" (i don't know the right words right now). in the future, will my triceps even out eventually or will my left triceps' lateral head and my right triceps' long head be bigger than their counterparts?

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Post by stuward » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:44 am

[quote="uvhst3p...awe man! that does not sound good. me having some kind of "birth defect" (i don't know the right words right now). in the future, will my triceps even out eventually or will my left triceps' lateral head and my right triceps' long head be bigger than their counterparts?[/quote]

You really don't know. Once you train for a while, it may even out, or you may always have one tricep a slightly different shape than the other. Most likely, once you build some size and strength, you will be able to find a way to preferentially work the lagging part. Work on the overall size and strength first.

This article addresses imbalances: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/south27.htm


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Post by DontPanic » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:25 pm

Get your back checked out. I suspect that not worrying about symmetry in the beginning eventually wreaked havoc on my back and delts because of a spinal irregularity that I have. I have the first session (3x week, 4 weeks) with the physical therapist this afternoon and will see if he agrees with me.

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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:09 pm

This is confusing to me. Could you explain more what you mean?

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Post by DontPanic » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:21 pm

Jungledoc wrote:This is confusing to me. Could you explain more what you mean?
Me? Well I'm no doc and won't have a professional opinion until later today but when I was not exercising they told me that my back pain was caused by a curve in my spine between the rhomboids that was causing one to work harder than the other or something like that. This was a few years ago.

When I was working out after started developing muscle I noticed that my left side was more pronounced than my right. I chalked this up to my right arm being stronger and, since I don't see my self posing in any muscle mags anytime soon, choose not to worry about it.

Then my back started bothering me and I was also experiencing pain doing any tricep isolation exercises. I restricted myself to low weight tricep exercises relying on compound exercises to build mass. I also started stretching before working out which helped for a couple of weeks but then the back pain kept getting worse so I stopped altogether and went and saw my doc.

I tell him to see a doc about his back because I wish I did back when it was just a matter of my shoulder bothering me.

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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:22 pm

OK. Well, good luck with the PT. I hope it doesn't turn out to be too serious for you or for the OP.

The source of the pain should be tracked down, regardless of whether there is asymmetry. The asymmetry doesn't necessarily mean that the pain is more serious.

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Post by scs217 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:32 pm

guys, i have a problem with my triceps symmetry. it turns out that my left triceps almost equally works the long, lateral and medial heads. however, for my right triceps, the long head does most of the work, then the medial head, then the lateral head. is there any way to correct this?
Don't worry so much about the asymmetry. My left pectoral is thicker and goes lower on my chest than the right, even though I am right handed. My left trapezius muscle attaches at the bottom about 3/4" lower than the right as well. You won't be perfect, but that doesn't mean that you can't look good. Minor differences like that will only matter in bodybuilding, and at your height/weight you probably don't have to worry about competitive bodybuilding. TRUST me you can look just fine with the assymetries you have. You'll be the only person that notices them as well.

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Post by uvhst3p » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:07 am

ok. thanks alot again! :grin:

so in working out now, i should just lift what i can and move up weight whenever i feel i can move up right? i was just wondering, will there come a time when i should worry about how much should i lift for each muscle group/type?

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Post by stuward » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:00 am

uvhst3p wrote:ok. thanks alot again! :grin:

so in working out now, i should just lift what i can and move up weight whenever i feel i can move up right? i was just wondering, will there come a time when i should worry about how much should i lift for each muscle group/type?
Just make sure you work your back as much as your chest and your hamstrings as much as your quads. Those seem to be the most common problems. Because they're not as visible, people tend to ignore them.

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Post by pdellorto » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:27 am

The time to worry about individual muscles is much, much later. If ever. Just focus now on getting stronger. Like Stuward said, people tend to undertrain the back and legs because they aren't visible. I try to convince beginners to be contrary and think of them as their main training concerns.

Take a look at the strength standards here, they'll tell you where you stand:

http://www.exrx.net/Testing/WeightLifti ... ndards.htm

Warning - that link can be painful. It is to me when I look at my pressing strength, ugh...but if you're in the "Untrained" or "Novice" category and find yourself worrying about balancing your pec development, or trying to even out your calf size, or whatever, you're probably on the wrong track. Work on getting all those lifts up to a respective level and you'll reap the rewards of strength training. Get distracted by auxiliary exercises and you'll probably plateau.

Good luck.

Peter

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Post by drummaniac » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:36 am

One thing that i would like to add that i didn't see anyone say (i might have missed it) is work both arms evenly. Never do more in one arm than the other and always start with your weaker side. by doing this the weaker or under developed arm will catch up. Again it could be genetics but at the same time may not be.


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