Bicep asymmetry??

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Bicep asymmetry??

Post by Kristine1982 »

Recently I started again working out in the gym after a few year of stop. I’m doing weight lifting and luckly the improvements are quite fast. Last evening, while training biceps, I noticed in the mirror a big difference between left and right arms in terms of size, vascularity, endurance (bicep, tricep, delt, forearm…see pic). Well, furthermore I must say that in everyday life I’m totally right-handed and never use her left arm for anything, so now I’d like to ask your opinion if the difference between the sides is actually something visible and if I should get worried of this right side unbalance and preference! See a pic of arms at" onclick=";return false;
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Boss Man
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Re: Bicep asymmetry??

Post by Boss Man »

Hi there Kristine, good to talk to you.

From what I can ascertain by your post and picture it's the right being bigger than the left and the left one is not getting used in any real way the rest of the time.

This is normal in most people as one used side over time will get bigger than the other down to childhood growth and greater development of that one side, but if you've been lifting weights and got a bit pumped up it may have exaggerated the discrepancy to some extent.

Having said that it may also be partly based on things you do; I:E if you do something like chest presses and find one arm seems to slightly lift off after the other, as that could be offsetting a small percentage of the emphasis onto one side compared to the other, so instead of both arms working evenly and both sides of the chest and the two delts getting equal work, you get let's say 45% 55% split on the weight distribution, which can cause an uneven growth pattern with the two areas of the body being stimulated.

If you are doing any exercises for the upper body that require a barbell or bar of some kind or a machine requiring a pushing motion, try using dumbbell alternatives, bearing in mind you can't just cut the weight by 50% I:E: using an E-Z bar for curling with total disc and bar weight being 20kg, (44lbs) and then using 2 x 10kg dumbbells, as the barbell will load bear part of the weight in the middle but the dumbbells are not connected, so you get 50% of your old bar weight in each arm.

So in that instance you'd be best off using 7.5kg - 8kg dumbbells, depending on the manufacturers specs, to make sure you're not struggling.

This would in theory halt any discrepancy your lifting may cause from getting bigger.

However another alternative would be to use the dumbbell variations suggested, in relation to any bar based exercises and machine based pushing motions you use and then use a bit less weight on the stronger side for a few weeks, to slow down or stagnate it's growth allowing the weaker side to catch up.

So if you take the E-Z bar example you'd use a 6kg dumbbell and keep the weaker side to 8kg, so when this mentality was replicated with any dumbbell exercises affecting the biceps, triceps, delts, rotator cuffs, levators and possibly the chest and traps areas as well, you'd be allowing weaker areas to catch up, then when you've got more of an arm and possible torso symmetry, depending on how asymmetrical the torso is, you'd use matching amounts of weight on all applicable exercises.

You could consider the things I said, but be aware that it's possibly just having slightly pumped muscles, that may be exaggerating the appearance of any physical discrepancies.

Hopefully that all makes sense :).
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