Q+A – What To Do When One Arm Is Smaller Than The Other

QUESTION: My forearms are not the same size. Any suggestion on what I should do? – Luke

ANSWER:

Here’s what I’d do.

  1. Visit your doctor to rule out any medical problems. It could be a neurological issue, a rehab issue, or something else you haven’t thought of. If they give you the A-OK, try the following ideas.
  2. Start training with unilateral tools and exercises, and avoid most bilateral training for awhile. For example, start doing more dumbbell rows instead of barbell rows. Start doing more lunges than squats. Do dumbbell curls instead of barbell curls (etc.). Try some single-arm clubbell or kettlebell exercises.The more unilateral training that you do, the more likely your lagging muscles will start to catch up.
  3. I’d also do some focused isolation work (i.e. grip training) for BOTH forearms, paying particular attention to contracting those muscle groups. You can do some thick bar training, clubbell training, heavy farmer walks, pinching exercises, and others.
  4. Make sure you don’t only train (or over-train) your lagging muscle groups. Keep the volume the same for both arms. Focus on intensity, effort, and getting a good pump once in awhile.
  5. Increase your mental concentration when training your weaker side. Focus on contracting the right muscle groups. Squeeze them hard. Slow down your reps, and hold the contraction.

If you put these tips to good use, I’d bet you’ll be balanced out in a few months.

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