Forearms imbalance is a serious thing!
I remember eating three bananas pre-workouts for killer sessions every day!
It was four years ago I was crazy about anything that involved arm exercises. Biceps… triceps… back arms… or forearm muscles… everything that shaped them turned me on!
I would go on and on, sometimes even skipping other schedules to focus on forearm muscles in the same week.
But I noticed something fishy in both the forearm muscles.
When I was flaunting my arms against the mirror, I saw the forearm on the right hand had a bigger and thicker shape than the left one.
The size of the right forearms >> the size of the left forearms.
Now, who would want an uneven structure on the body if you exercise every day? Until then, I had only seen forearm problems on gaggy social media posts. Didn’t quite know I would be the latest victim of forearm muscle imbalance.
Some suggested eating food from the left side of the mouth solved muscle imbalance. Some said I was blind; nothing was wrong with the forearms. And some even said I needed to check self-proclaimed godmen to get rid of my problems.
But then I realized it’s a problem with everyone.
Look at yourself! One of your sides is more dominant than the other. We have deployed one side of our bodies more than the other throughout our lives.
From picking heavy traveling bags to lifting the grocery cartons, your mom ordered; or from doing menial tasks like brushing to flipping channels with a remote, we have programmed half the side of the muscles.
And it reflected in the workouts where I could lift 33 pounds from my right arm, but only 20 pounds from left! Gosh! And plenty of rep sets. I can now only wonder why my forearms didn’t coincide with each other.
Well, I have gotten over the problem now. That’s why I decided to share my experience on uneven forearms. So let’s check it out quickly:
What are uneven forearms, and why does it happen?
Simply put, if a forearm muscle (or muscles) on one side of your body is stronger, weaker, larger, or smaller than the opposite forearm muscles on the other side, you mean to suffer from forearm imbalance.
Now you might be wondering what makes it happen? *There are lots of dirty jokes on uneven forearms. Don’t think they’re real.* 😉
Here’s why your forearm muscles go uneven:
When you focus unevenly on forearms
Let’s say you’re a fitness freak like me. You get into the gym, all pumped up. You exercise hard for 90 minutes and take pride in the efforts until you notice a forearm muscle has outgrown the other.
It happens because you do more set repetition on a single hand. For example, you reserve 15 reps for one hand and ten on the other. And if you continue it for a few months, the problem grows.
When you’re not ambidextrous
To be ambidextrous means to have control over both the forearms, left and right.
But if you’re reading this, chances are high you’re not ambidextrous. You are either a right-handed person or left-handed. If you’re right-handed, you’ll put extra load on the right hand, whether it’s gymming or playing tennis, lifting or writing. The same goes if you’re a left-hander.
Unless you practice training both the muscles, one of the forearm muscles will be healthier, and the other will be weaker.
You can’t defeat natural development
Not everything you do is the reason why your forearm imbalance showed. Some developments are too natural to be explained! The imbalance could be by birth, or you could be the victim of natural selection.
You have a bad posture
Believe it or not! You don’t have a good posture. Well, how does it lead to uneven forearms? What has posture got to do with forearm muscles? We didn’t believe it either.
But there are body positions and postures that affect your muscle health. Specific postures put your forearm muscles in continuous strain.
Let’s say you’re a typewriter or content writer, and you sit in a specific position to work. Few months down the line, and you feel one of the forearm muscles has grown weaker.
The past injuries
It’s rather unfortunate your past injuries can accrue forearm imbalance. Or even birth disability can barre you from using one of the hands. The more you use one of the forearms muscle, the further you put the other non-dominant forearm muscle to unevenness.
Some cases where doctors suggest not to use an injured hand can extend for a prolonged time. You can’t really share your workload on both the forearms in this case. Ultimately, you’re going to suffer from uneven forearms.
The effect of forearm muscles imbalance on body
You might take enormous pride in strengthening your muscles. It’s obviously good to focus on strength building. But are you giving up the equal load to the other areas of the body?
There has to be a balanced workload. Is it enough for both of your forearms? Well, over-focusing on one area while ignoring the other may lead to this significant muscle imbalance problem.
Here’s what forearm imbalance can contribute to:
- May kill your mobility
- Put you in tremendous pain
- Your appearance may look imbalanced
Here’s what forearm imbalances can also lead to:
- Arm instability
- Make you prone to injury
- Damages to joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones, and connective tissues.
How to identify uneven arms?
Everything in your body is connected. You see! If something affects one, the others will automatically feel the heat. Be it in a major or minor way!
Forearm imbalance is a gradual process, and you might notice it after a few months or even years have passed. So the first step towards fixing uneven arms is: identifying your problem.
Well, of course, it’s visible in the later stages of forearm imbalance, but you can get it detected early to avoid major issues in the future. Here’s how you can identify if you’re suffering from uneven forearms:
Forearm strength & endurance testing
You may like to have do-it-yourself testing at-home to determine forearm imbalance. But it’s always better to rely on effective ways such as biometric testing.
Get yourself appointed to an Orthopedist. Most orthopedists have fancy biometric machines installed at their places. They will get you through the machine and check for muscular contractions in the forearm.
The contraction reveals that your forearm lags muscle strength, and chances are high you have muscle imbalances.
Ideally, biometric testing can focus on any of these individual joints:
What are the potential solutions for fixing the asymmetric forearm imbalance?
Finally, it’s time for you to know how to fix uneven arms. So here you go:
Say goodbye to dumbbells and hello to the barbell.
Dumbbells are the leading cause of forearm muscle imbalance. Imagine you’re picking 30 lbs from your right arm! Feels good to lift so much weight. Doesn’t it?
Now imagine your left arm feeling a little sluggish! All you could manage was 20 lbs. Do you see the imbalance? That’s what dumbbells bring upon you.
Fortunately, barbells or machines are the perfect replacements for dumbbells. You’re ideally using both hands equally. So it’s natural your muscles have distributed workload.
Start your exercise with the weaker arm first.
The weakest child deserves the most attention. Similarly, the weaker arm deserves attention more than the stronger one. If not more, prior attention for sure.
Begin your workout by focusing on weaker forearms. It ensures you’re not leaving them for last when you’re already out of gas. Early high-intensity workouts will prevent you from deserting your weaker arm.
Exercise with the proper form
It is by far the most important strategy when you’re dealing with forearms imbalance. If you don’t have access to barbells, but only dumbbells, you can still watch your form in the mirror and exercise.
You can improvise your posture when there’s a bit of inconsistency in both arms. For example, when you’re using dumbbells for curl exercise, you may lean towards your exercising side unknowingly. Mirror will let you know your position that you can fix to avoid uneven forearms.
Train your weaker arm for daily activities
I know you don’t want to lift things with your weaker arm. Why should you? Or why should you even bowl with the weaker arm? But remember, this is how you trained your dominant side.
Your dominant forearm didn’t become dominant out of thin air. You have trained it hard for years. Think of yourself as an infant, back to basics. Allot more activities to it and champion dexterity.
Focus on pull-ups and push-ups
Push-ups and pull-ups are the foundation of muscle building. You can’t think of workouts without them. The best part about them is: they distribute an equal workload to both the opposing muscles.
Try to add workouts like these that distribute equal exercise load instead of putting an unequal load.
Work with a personal trainer to manage workload
Sometimes, even you don’t realize unwanted moving and twisting while working out. It’s not easy to reach a perfect workout posture without a personal trainer.
So my best piece of advice: trust on experts. They rectify wrong workout positions and ensure you don’t strain on your muscles inconsistently.
The final call on forearm imbalance
You have to remember one thing! When you exercise, the opposing muscle groups must coordinate. You don’t want to be leaving too much on one muscle part and depriving the other of any exercise forms.
Balance is the key! And you reach it with the targeted workout. And yes! Fret not! Most of them suffer from some kind of imbalance. You can get it in line if you pay detailed attention to it.