Have you even been flexing your arms in the mirror and asked, “why is my right bicep bigger than the left?”
This can be frustrating especially if the reason you’re in the gym is to look a certain way.
Why is My Right Bicep Bigger Than The Left
Consider doing more single-arm bicep curls, slowing down the exercises, and using proper form. Start by curling with your weaker arm first and possibly add in extra reps when training it.
Try Incorporating Single-Arm Exercises
Bicep exercises that use both arms are great for overloading the arms and stimulating the muscles. Barbells curls and preacher curls are two examples.
As effective as these exercises are, you should always have at least one exercise where you iso-laterally train each arm on its own. Dumbbell curls and hammer curls where you curl each arm at a time are great examples.
By working one arm at a time, you can effectively contract and focus on mind muscle connection. When doing barbell bicep curls, people will often swing and use momentum from other body parts to get the weight up. This takes away from the biceps doing the work and reduces muscle growth.
Additionally, if one bicep is bigger than the other, it will take over the movement. This will create even further muscle imbalances.
Single-arm exercises remove this as only one arm is doing the work at a time. Your weaker bicep will be forced to do the same amount of work. Make sure you do the same weight and reps with each arm.
To perform a proper dumbbell bicep curl, start by standing with the dumbbells at your sides.
Your arms should be straight with your elbows tucked into your sides. Contract the bicep as your curl the dumbbell up towards your shoulder. Your elbow should remain at your side and not move throughout the exercise.
Twist your pinky slightly higher than your other fingers at the top of the curl to place extra stress on the bicep.
Your Dominant Arm Is Stronger
Your dominant arm is what you use for 90% of your activities outside of them gym. Because of this, it is often significantly stronger than your non-dominant arm.
You use your dominant arm your entire life because it feels more natural. Any time you play a sport or lift something with one arm, you will hover towards using your dominant arm.
This slowly builds up more strength in it over the course of your life.
It is possible that the complete opposite is true. That is, your non-dominant arm is stronger than the dominant one.
This is because you use your dominant arm for everyday activities which builds up muscle memory and allows you to easily perform activities without using up lot of energy.
To use your non-dominant hand for something requires a lot more energy expenditure since you aren’t used to it. You would really have to think hard about signing your signature or throwing a ball with your non-dominant arm.
Muscle Imbalance Prevention
Ditching the barbell and any cable attachment that uses two arms is the best way to build strength in both arms. Add more one-arm bicep exercises into your training.
Trade out a bar cable attachment for a handle and curl one arm at a time. Instead of using two arms for the seated preacher curl machine, drop the weight and use one arm.
Another great way to tackle muscle imbalance is to always start by training your weaker arm. If your left bicep is weaker, always start by curling it first.
Let it set the amount of reps you will be doing. If it fails on the ninth rep, then only do nine reps with the right one although you may be able to do more. This ensures that the right one isn’t growing even stronger.
Another tactic is to actually do extra sets and reps with the weaker arm. Try doing an extra set or two of curls with your left bicep each arm workout and see if that starts to even them out.
It is also important to ensure you are using correct form. Watch yourself perform curls in the mirror or record yourself. Your form should be the exact same for both arms.
If you notice that one arm is swinging more or your elbow is raising up, then you will want to fix this. Lowering the amount of weight you are lifting or slowing the movement down are both great ways to help with this.
Making sure that you have proper posture will also help prevent imbalances. Keep your chest up and back straight. Don’t slouch forward or round your back. Do this when performing bicep workouts and in everyday life.
The Dangers & Determinants Of Muscle Imbalances
How do you know if you have a muscle imbalance? It’s not always as obvious as one bicep being an inch bigger in diamter than the other.
Measuring your arms with a tape is a great way to decide. Note that most people will have a half-inch or quarter-inch difference in their arms. Anything more than a half-inch difference should be concerning.
A difference in strength in the gym is also a big determination. If one arm curl a 25 pound dumbbell for eleven reps, where the other can only do eight, it’s a good indication that there is a muscle imbalance.
Having physical pain or limited mobility is one of the more severe effects. If these get serious, seeing a doctor is the best choice.
Most issues of having one arm that is stronger just come for an aesthetic point of view. People are annoyed that one bicep sticks out more when they flex.
However, having one arm stronger doesn’t only look off, it can also lead to negative physical issues. This includes limited mobility, pain, and instability.
It can cause other muscle groups to have to work harder to compensate for the imbalance, which can lead to pain and irritation.
Instability can become increasingly dangerous and lead to damaged joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. They can become so severe that they actually lead to injury, putting you out of the gym.
Leave any questions or comments below and I’ll get back to you!