Health & Fitness

My Fitness Journey: Unbalanced Strength

Today after finishing up my leg workout, I realized that my right leg is weaker than my left. While doing my last exercise, isolated single leg presses, I noticed that I was struggling a lot more when working my right side. Then this got me thinking about what other muscles I had imbalanced strength in. My left arm is slightly stronger than my right arm, especially when I do concentrated bicep curls. Basically my left side of my body is more dominant than my right which is really weird considering I’m right handed and supposedly right side dominant?? When I snowboard, I ride goofy which means my left leg is in the back (the more dominant one), so maybe that further confirms my left side is stronger. I figured out that my right leg is weaker than my left because I injured my right ankle a few years back and I didn’t do my physical therapy exercises (oops).

On top of my current fitness goals (which you can read about here), I want to work on correcting the imbalance of strength between my left and right side.

Some things I’ve read up on for fixing the problem (Source):

  • Need a baseline to determine current strength on both legs/arms in order to work towards fixing imbalance
  • Strength testing involves doing an exercise with a weight that will cause failure around 6-10 reps
  • Once you have the baseline, retest every month to look for improvement
  • It’s more effective to use isolation exercises to strengthen weak muscles because your body finds “substitutions to make the movement happen while throwing the least stress onto the weak muscle”.
  • Start on the weaker side first, which will determine how many reps you will do on the stronger side (for example, if your weak side can only do one isolated leg press at 25 lbs for 8 reps, then only do those amount of reps at the same weight on the stronger side)
  • Do more sets for the weaker side

Baseline Strength

  • Right isolated leg press: 70 lbs, 8 reps
  • Concentrated bicep curls: 11lbs, 8 reps

I will work on this and re-test myself at the end of each month to see if there are any improvements. Let’s see how it goes!


Edit: added in current right arm strength on 04/13/17.

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