Big discrepancy in pec size

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
I am right handed and my left arm is hugely weaker than my right. In the past years I have begun to notice that my left pec is slightly larger than the right. After a few cycles of PTTP this discrepancy became even more prominent, and included the left trap and shoulder. Since I have been on Faleev's program this discrepancy have been growing in pace - the discrepancy is such that even with clothes on and a relaxed posture there the left side protrudes out quite prominently. I would appreciate any insights on this as to why this is happening, how it can be corrected and whether or not this should be a cause of concern above and beyond the aesthetics.

Someone told me that I have to choose between being symmetrical in size or symmetrical in strength - because if I want be symmetrical in size I will need to work out the right side more, and in which case it will always be stronger - that broke my brain for a bit, but makes sense i suppose - what are your thoughts?

My form on the bench press is not very good - i have a hard time keeping the bar stable and lowering it and raising symmetrically, even with relatively light weights.

Am i fated to turn into a lopsided mutant?
 

Timo Keskitalo

Level 4 Valued Member
AMATEUR GUESSING HERE

Lots of extensions and other type of arm developing with dumbbels? Reps on the weaker side's condition.

I probably have same issues. Another symptom is that my shoulder moves towards ear when benching heavy. A physio said that my back muscles, e.g. stabilizers around scapula, don't work properly (shoulder moves) so the big muscles compensate. You might want to check that out with a professional.
 

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
AMATEUR GUESSING HERE

Lots of extensions and other type of arm developing with dumbbels? Reps on the weaker side's condition.

I probably have same issues. Another symptom is that my shoulder moves towards ear when benching heavy. A physio said that my back muscles, e.g. stabilizers around scapula, don't work properly (shoulder moves) so the big muscles compensate. You might want to check that out with a professional.
Hmm..I definitely have shoulder and scapula issues...some I have for years just from life, and others over the last few years through grappling.

What are you referring to when you say extensions? And are you suggesting strengthening the weaker arm (left arm) as a fix?
 

Timo Keskitalo

Level 4 Valued Member
What are you referring to when you say extensions? And are you suggesting strengthening the weaker arm (left arm) as a fix?
Dumbbell extensions to triceps and so on, to strengthen the left arm, yes. To take away the burden from the pec. That was my first guess.

Then I remembered that my problems start from the back acc.to the physio. I have also had shoulder surgery to a snapped ac-tendon, which, I guess, makes my shoulder weak. I think it's all intertwined in my case at least.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
I am right handed and my left arm is hugely weaker than my right. In the past years I have begun to notice that my left pec is slightly larger than the right. After a few cycles of PTTP this discrepancy became even more prominent, and included the left trap and shoulder. Since I have been on Faleev's program this discrepancy have been growing in pace - the discrepancy is such that even with clothes on and a relaxed posture there the left side protrudes out quite prominently. I would appreciate any insights on this as to why this is happening, how it can be corrected and whether or not this should be a cause of concern above and beyond the aesthetics.

Someone told me that I have to choose between being symmetrical in size or symmetrical in strength - because if I want be symmetrical in size I will need to work out the right side more, and in which case it will always be stronger - that broke my brain for a bit, but makes sense i suppose - what are your thoughts?

My form on the bench press is not very good - i have a hard time keeping the bar stable and lowering it and raising symmetrically, even with relatively light weights.

Am i fated to turn into a lopsided mutant?
I think you're overthinking this, making it harder than it is.

Just do some unilateral work (DB or KB presses, DB or KB flyes, DB or KB rows, etc) for a cycle, things will even out.

But the rule is that the pair of weights is determined by what your *weak* side can do, and the weak side dictates the progression.

Unless you're really a mutant turning into a one-armed Hulk, in which case ignore what I said, it won't work.
 
Last edited:

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
I have also had shoulder surgery to a snapped ac-tendon, which, I guess, makes my shoulder weak. I think it's all intertwined in my case at least.
Well, yes, of course.

I have a left torn labrum, and a right shoulder that dislocates about once a month. Both of these injuries will be with me for life.

But you can learn how to train around them. Your body has a lot of redundancy and you can create new motor pathways.

Despite my injuries, and because of my injuries, I compete in Olympic weightlifting, which involves jerking and snatching 100 kg over my head.

The point being:

If you identify your weak areas, and build skills that challenge you to get around your weaknesses, your body will find a way to balance things out.
 

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
@watchnerd
I am currently on a beginners progression routine with Faleev's 80/20.
Mon-SQ
Tue-BP
Wed-DL
Thu-Light SQ
Fri-Light BP.

1. Do you have any suggestions what would be the best way to incorporate the unilateral KB or DB press into the program? Should I replace my light BP days with KB presses?

2. Do you recommend I do KB floor presses or KB overhead presses?

Thanks.
 

luizleandro

First Post
I have the same issue: right-handed, but left pec and upper arm bigger. I tried doing more unilateral work with the smaller side, but it didn't work. Then I recorded myself doing some common upper body exercises such as bench press, OHP and rows, and also squats, from the front and from behind. What I found was the following:

- While my right pec and arm are smaller, my right trapezius seems to be bigger and rise up much more (along with the elbow) than the left on rows.
- My right arm flares more in the OHP.
- In the squat my right arm goes behind more than the left one.
- My left arm seems to be more rotated internally.
- OHP and bench presses are totally crooked.
- Right shoulder higher when I'm relaxed.

So my non-professional assessment was that I have some serious scapular imbalance (tight left pec, weak left scapular retractors, weak left pec, tight left trapezius), then this is what I'm trying to do to sort it out:

- Stretch left pec/ lats, work on left scapular retractors strength.
- Stretch right upper trapezius, work on right lower trapezius strength.
- Look at a mirror while doing OHPs (I'm running PTTP) and try to lift the bar symmetrically.

So far, I'm not sure if this is helping, but I'm going to continue doing it for some time.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
@watchnerd
I am currently on a beginners progression routine with Faleev's 80/20.
Mon-SQ
Tue-BP
Wed-DL
Thu-Light SQ
Fri-Light BP.

1. Do you have any suggestions what would be the best way to incorporate the unilateral KB or DB press into the program? Should I replace my light BP days with KB presses?

2. Do you recommend I do KB floor presses or KB overhead presses?

Thanks.
Whether light or heavy, there is a unilateral alternative to everything on your list.

As for KB floor press vs KB overhead press -- those are very different exercises, one a shoulder press the other chest. I don't consider them equivalent.
 

Steve B.

Level 6 Valued Member
You should maybe see a medical professional to determine if you have some kind of issue.
Many people have right and left side strength imbalances from one degree to another but there shouldn't be a big discrepancy with strength and mobility.
Notably if you have a size difference there is more than likely an issue.
Unless your a medical professional here people are only speculating and really you need someone to see you personally so you can be assessed .
 

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
You should maybe see a medical professional to determine if you have some kind of issue.
Many people have right and left side strength imbalances from one degree to another but there shouldn't be a big discrepancy with strength and mobility.
Notably if you have a size difference there is more than likely an issue.
Unless your a medical professional here people are only speculating and really you need someone to see you personally so you can be assessed .
I appreciate your comment, and I agree with you in theory - I actually just wrote to one of the docs in the sports medicine department at Kaiser. so thank you.

The issue is that in my experience,most doctors are woefully incompetent (and even uninterested) in these types of issues - I have gone to sports med, orrhos, and physios for a number of different issues involving mobility, injuries etc.and have not been impressed.

Sometimes you get a better diagnosis anecdotally from the lived experiences of other people especially when they are also engaged in the same type of activities as you are and are involved with the world of exercise, athletics, etc.
 

Steve B.

Level 6 Valued Member
I agree a second opinion or more is always good especially if you can find the right doctor.
I also agree medical pros are not created equal.
Usually the best are the most expensive the ones that work with high level athletes.
Have you tried a sports chiropractor?
Good luck to you.
 

mrdave100

Level 5 Valued Member
Suitcase deadlifts, one arm overhead presses, and single arm dumbbell bench press (not dumbbell bench presses) may give you a good start.
 

marcelotine

Level 4 Valued Member
@Steve B.
@the hansenator
The sports dx/orthopedist said to talk to the pcp about it and that's no something they deal with in their department. PCP send one line saying let's schedule a mammogram!! These people don't even want to see you first or talk to you to find out what the issues are...sends you straight for the lab.

I think I'm going to pass for now.... Try some of the prescriptions here on the forum first.
 
Top Bottom