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Back imbalance

Posted: Sat May 26, 2012 11:10 am
by mrbigmuscles
So I have been picking things up and putting them down again for about two months. I've noticed a pretty severe imbalance between my dominant and nondominant side. Almost all my lifts are barbell, so I guess the dominant side is just doing more of the work. Specifically, my traps and erector spinae are way more hypertrophied on the dominant side. I've already started doing some unilateral work with dumbbells for the trap, but how the hell do I just work the erectors on one side? Would the one-arm deadlift do the trick? I'd post a link to the exrx page for it but I can't post urls.

Re: Back imbalance

Posted: Sat May 26, 2012 12:06 pm
by stuward
I assume you mean this: ... dlift.html" onclick=";return false;
The 1 legged version is also important. ... dlift.html" onclick=";return false;

Don`t forget this: ... Getup.html" onclick=";return false;

As you noticed, you can`t work just one side, but you can preferentially recruit one side over the other. Keep progressing on all these exercises until you are just as strong on both sides.

Re: Back imbalance

Posted: Sat May 26, 2012 12:28 pm
by JasonJones
How is the imbalance affecting you? The viscera of the human body is not symmetrical, you've got a lung with an extra lobe on one side, which will affect the entire thoracic cage (and everything attached to it), and a liver on one side and a spleen on the other (which will affect which side I plant body shots on in the ring). Add a dominant side into the mix, and you've got a recipe wherein asymmetry is not only inevitable, it's normal.

If you're asking from an aesthetic point of view, I gotta say I can't help you.

If it's affecting your lifts (any torquing, uneven depth etc) or you're worried about injuries, then we're addressing it as a movement problem, and I've got some suggestions. What you're going to want to look at is rotary stability, or the ability of your trunk musculature to resist rotation of the spine against resistance. I could direct you to the rotary stability functional movement screen test, but for rotary stability I find that the corrective exercises are tests in and of themselves.

Give these a try:" onclick=";return false;

Along with some Pallof presses and some high to low chops. Find which side you have more difficulty with (if you have unilateral rotary instability, you'll feel a difference pretty easily) and do 2x as many sets on the weak side as the strong side for six week. In six weeks, reassess.

Re: Back imbalance

Posted: Sat May 26, 2012 3:39 pm
by robertscott
I'd bet dollars to doughnuts you've got a scoliosis on the dominant side.

my traps and erector spinae are more hypertrophied on my non-dominant side and I have scoliosis.

Not very scientifically reasoned by me there but I still bet I'm right.

Re: Back imbalance

Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 8:24 am
by mrbigmuscles
Thanks everybody. JJ, what is a "high to low chop"?

Re: Back imbalance

Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 2:44 pm
by JasonJones
mrbigmuscles wrote:Thanks everybody. JJ, what is a "high to low chop"?
Here's a video of Gray Cook talking about chops. He's not really talking about imbalances IIRC, but he is talking about using the trunk musculature the way it's supposed to work.

Re: Back imbalance

Posted: Sun May 27, 2012 7:56 pm
by mrbigmuscles
awesome. today I did the palloff press, extra shrugs for the non-dominant side, and some one arm deads at the end of my work out.

And JJ, in answer to your original question: I'd be lying if aesthetics didn't enter into it, but I'm mainly concerned about injury prevention. Plus, I figure if I get my right (non-dom) side as big as my left, then I'll be able to lift more right?