All of us will have some imbalances, it’s completely natural. If you played sports a child certain movement patterns can promote uneven development.
You’ll probably notice that there’s not only structural imbalances between both sides of the body but also that certain muscle groups are more stubborn than others.
So how do we deal with these stubborn muscle groups and imbalances?
#1 – Target Weak Areas with More Volume
Grow the lagging muscle group by adding more workout volume (reps x sets x weight) on specific exercise that target the weakness.
Volume is the primary driver of growth. And each one of us has a unique blueprint of how much volume we need per muscle group to stimulate growth. The amount of volume is a moving target. As you get more experience the volume needs to increase.
You need identify the amount of volume per muscle group that allows you to grow but also allows you to recover. A good starting point is between 80 – 210 reps per muscle group per week.
#2 – Train the Weak Body Part First
Starting every workout with the “main” lift like bench press, squat or dead lift is great but it’s not always the best choice. If you’re primary goal is aesthetics and you have a big imbalance – you want to start the workout with an exercise that will target that weakness.
For example: if your biceps if lagging don’t be afraid to start your workout with some bicep curls. Research has shown that the order of exercises does matter a lot when it comes to growth.
#3 – Do Unilateral Movements If You Have A Weaker Side
This means you do one side at a time and you start with the weak side. Great example is the single are shoulder press or the singe arm preacher curl.
#4 – Add Variety
Variety is a necessity to keep the muscle guessing and stimulate growth. Altering your movements using free/machine weights, cables, calisthenics and the rep ranges helps stimulate growth of all fiber types.
#5 – Seek Expert Advice
For extreme imbalances you must consult with a physical therapist that specializes with physiological imbalances like a Physiotherapist or a Chiropractor.
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About the author:
Wilfred Paul is an Exercise Physiologist, PT & Weight Loss Consultant with a passion for helping people actualize their health & fitness goals. He is also a content writer for Forbes, Medical Daily & The Independent UK.