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Muscle Decompensations: Why They Occur and How You Can Solve Them in the Gym

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If you are a fitness fanatic you may have reached the dreaded point that comes in the life of practically any gym goer; You have realized that one of your arms has more muscle mass than the other , giving it a larger diameter. Do you know why this happens?

What are muscle decompensations?

First of all, don’t panic. On the one hand, decompensations between the left hemibody and the right hemibody are generally not a very important issue, and on the other hand, no one escapes them. We all have muscle decompensations to a greater or lesser extent.

Generally, in many cases, although the training volume of the left portion of the body is the same as that of the right portion of the body, we tend to lose this symmetry because the cross-sectional area of ​​one or more of the muscles on one side increases more than the other.

This doesn’t have to be a problem to some extent. If we detect it and correct it relatively soon, we will be able to prevent the most developed muscle from pulling on the tendons and ultimately damaging our posture.

How to correct muscle decompensations?

What in many cases seems obvious, does not end up being the answer. If you have one portion lagging behind the other, my advice is not to start giving excessive training volume to the lagging one. Instead, continue working both but correct the technique because this is probably not the most appropriate.

15-minute Training Plan Designed to Gain Muscle Mass

I say this because a stronger muscle (the advanced one) needs a greater stimulus, and one that is less strong (the lagging one) needs a lesser one, so, if the technique is correct, at the same volume and intensity of training, the Lagging muscle will end up progressing at a greater speed and will end up catching up with the advanced one.

This really doesn’t have to cause further concern. This problem may have been caused by incorrect posture, poor technique, or a dysmetria (a difference in the length of the limbs), and it can be corrected over time by adapting the posture to the exercise and working correctly.

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One-sided work: is it worth it?

Unilateral work has many benefits. For example, it reduces the bilateral strength deficit or has greater transfer to certain sports (for example, the force transfer of a stride in soccer is greater than that of a squat).

It is a very suitable type of training to be included in a training routine, and it can be a good option for improving these imbalances (in fact, this is what this study indicates ), but from my point of view although be effective is not optimal if the objective is to correct a decompensation, since, as I have mentioned, if we focus on working one joint more with respect to the other instead of focusing on rooting out the problem, which in this case usually be caused by dysmetria, bad technique or bad posture, we will only be putting a temporary patch.(1)

Logically, all these indications do not replace the advice that a specialized professional can give you after correctly assessing your case . Remember that these are general recommendations, and they do not have to work well for everyone.

Bottom Line.

Muscle decompensations arise because of imbalances and weaknesses that increase through the years, regularly from terrible posture, repetitive moves, or incorrect schooling strategies. Identifying and addressing these imbalances through focused sporting activities and corrective measures in the fitness center can repair stability, enhance performance, and prevent injuries. Consistent interest to form, together with a well-rounded health routine, is prime to resolving muscle decompensations efficaciously.

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FitnessQuora has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, educational research institutes, and medical organizations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Single-Leg Power Output and Between-Limbs Imbalances in Team-Sport Players: Unilateral Versus Bilateral Combined Resistance Training; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27140680/

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This content is based on scientific research and written by experts.

Our team of licensed nutritionists and fitness experts endeavor to be unbiased, objective, honest and to present each sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1,2,3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific researches.

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