How to Develop Muscle Symmetry
Here is what you need to do...
If there's one thing every weight lifter seeks it's a muscular physique. Obvious. However, after the first few months or years go by, every weight lifter begins to strive for another physique-related goal: muscle symmetry. Simply having large arms or a large chest won't complete your look in the mirror or on the beach. You need to make all the parts of your body match up, which also goes for the same muscle on your right and left side. Below I'll show a few different methods that any lifter -pro or amateur- can use to keep their physique symmetrical and as close to perfect as possible. Read on.
The first kind of muscular symmetry that should be sought-after is overall-body symmetry. Meaning, you want your legs to match your arms, and your arms to match your chest, and your chest to match your lats, and so on. In order to reach overall-body symmetry you need to only do one thing: stay consistent with every muscle group. It's really quite simple. If you look in my other topics you'll find one that covers working out every muscle group in a split routine. If you follow that topic, week in and week out, and you lift hard for every muscle group, you will inevitably reach overall-body symmetry.
The second kind of muscular symmetry can be a little more difficult to reach: side-to-side symmetry. Almost every person has one side of their body that's more dominant than the other, Because of this, it's common for the dominant side to get slightly larger than the less dominant side. Don't fret, as there are two simple solutions to this problem: extra reps, and resistance bands.
Extra reps is a method that helps the weaker side of your body level out with the stronger side. Basically, all you have to do is force your weaker side to do two or three extra reps on every exercise. If you're doing a barbell exercise, go grab a dumbbell afterwards and mimic the same movement but ONLY with the weaker side of your body. This extra attention will force the weak side of your body to get stronger and stronger, until eventually it evens out completely with the dominant side.
Resistance bands will also help solve the side-to-side symmetry problem. When you're at home, or even if they have bands at the gym, simply apply a band with a decent level of resistance and do some exercise for any lacking muscle on the weak side of your body. Resistance bands are great because they not only help develop physical symmetry, but help promote symmetrical strength as well. And once the weak side of your body is able to lift the same amount of weight as the strong side, you sort of lose a weak/strong split, and you're left with a symmetrical and evened-out body.
Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.
The difficulties with reaching muscle symmetry come with how honest you can be with yourself when looking in the mirror. If you've been working hard at every body part, yet you notice that your shoulders are overpowering your arms, you should spend some more time developing your arms and pull back on the shoulders. Furthermore, taking the time to work the weak side of your body can be frustrating and at times demoralizing. However, after enough attention I promise that both sides will reach the same size and strength. Like most aspects of weightlifting, consistency is key.
Stuff You'll Need
|Black Mountain Products Resistance Band Set with Door Anchor, Ankle Strap, Exercise Chart, and Resistance Band Carrying Case||$30.75|
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Funny or interesting story about this topic...
There's this old bodybuilder that used to wander into my old gym from time to time. He stopped working out as intensely as he did in his competitive youth, but somehow he still maintained overall-body and side-to-side symmetry. I once asked him how he kept his physique so symmetrical after years and years. He told me, "kid, all you gotta do is remember to never forget the weak side of your body." Remembering to never forget can be a kind of funny concept, but those words never left my head. After all, he's walking proof of what that kind of weak-side attention can achieve. You might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can certainly learn from the tricks he already knows.
When did you first do this & how did you get started?
I cared deeply about symmetry every since I was a young boy. Symmetry in my drawings, in the world, in everything. So naturally I was inclined to seek out perfect symmetry immediately during my weightlifting journey. I've always had a weak left side, so I had to figure out ways to combat the obstacle of right-side dominance. Luckily, through a good bit of advice and a lot of personal experimenting, I've found a few solid ways to keep my physique as symmetrical as possible. Now I'm passing those methods on to you. Use them well, stay symmetrical, and as always, happy lifting