Deb, I think that's my problem. I think I am overcompensating on my stronger side. I haven't been back to the gym yet (still healing here) to see if I can mentally adjust. I think I automatically use my right side (upper and lower body) more even though I am left handed.
When I do isolation exercises for biceps, I notice that I can do more reps with my left arm at the same weight.
That makes me wonder if my left bicep is contributing more taking some weight off the left side of my back. At this point I'm just overthinking it all, but I need to find a solution because the soreness is so bad I've been out of the gym all week and not sure when I'll be able to go back.
I wouldn't even bother attempting to work one side more than the other to build it up.
By doing a bilateral exercise, you'll be working the 'weaker' side more than the 'stronger' side anyway. If you are careful to maintain balanced form and not compensate on the strong side, then you will be building strength on the weaker side and maintaining it on the stronger.
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It isn't uncommon for one side of the body to be more dominant than the other side, but unless an exercise is designed to be done uni-laterally I would not try to do an exercise designed to use both arms to attempt to build up the weaker side. The risk for injury is too great.
I am dealing with some back soreness and I had a back massage tonight. The masseuse told me that the right side of my back is more muscled than the left side. I do a lot of exercises for my back, but they are the type that use both arms at the same time, like pull ups and lat pulldown. If I'm going to balance it out, I need some exercises that only use one arm at a time. I will add the one arm bent over row back into my program, but here's my question:
Is it okay to do one armed versions of the standard back exercises on the standard equipment? I'm far too weak to do a one arm pull up, and my gym doesn't have a double pulley lat pulldown. Could I use the lat pulldown (or vertical traction) with one arm at a time or would that be a bad idea? What about the seated row?
What about a one armed pull up on the assisted pull up machine?
Any other ideas? With dumbbells or any other equipment (my gym has most everything normal gyms have).
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