It is perfectly normal to have asymmetry in our body parts. In fact, many of us have one arm bigger and one eye broader than the other one. Thankfully, in most cases, this asymmetry is so small that it goes noticeable unless you get your body measured. However, if you are a fitness freak or a bodybuilder, your one arm, especially the right one, may become noticeably bigger than the left one. That's because it is your primary hand and you use it more often. But, there could be many other reasons why your right arm is bigger than the left. Injuries and improper training form are the two most common ones. In this article, I will briefly explain these reasons and I will also tell you what you can do to make them symmetrical.
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Reasons why your right arm is bigger than the left
If you are a left-handed person, your left arm could be bigger than the right one. And, these are some of the common reasons that could be behind this visible difference-
More use of the dominant muscles
This is the most obvious reason. If you are a right-handed person, you often use it for picking up grocery bags, keeping the dumbbells back on the rack, taking the load out of the washing machine, painting the walls of your home, cleaning your kitchen top, etc. So, naturally, your right arm muscles are stronger and more developed than the left ones. The difference in size is more noticeable in physically active people, especially those who are into strength training.
Improper form or cheating while exercising
As mentioned above, your dominant hand is stronger and can lift more weight or do more reps than the left hand. So, when you are trying to lift a heavier weight or do more reps than you usually do, your left hand gets tired first. You subconsciously let your right hand take over the movement, so you can complete the desired reps.
This is one of the most common mistakes that even trained athletes and bodybuilders make. It is known as compensation. When you let your dominant arm compensate for the non-dominant one, you end up allowing it to work harder and grow stronger day by day. So, with time, your right arm becomes visibly bigger than the left one.
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If your tendons tear up while exercising or otherwise, you must take adequate rest and let the arm heal completely before resuming arm exercises. If you do not let it heal completely, it may take forever to regain its strength. You will still be able to do most exercises but your other muscles such as chest and shoulder muscles will keep compensating for it. And, I just told you what happens when you let the other muscles compensate for a specific arm muscle.
In short, injured tendons are also one of the common reasons why your one arm may be bigger than the other.
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What should you do if your right arm is bigger than the left?
Start doing unilateral exercises
To even out the biceps, you need to work them out individually. Because when you use them together, your dominant hand starts compensating for its weaker brother. Instead of doing barbell curls and barbell bench presses, you should start dumbbell exercises. You may work both hands together but, for better results, target one arm at a time. Since your smaller arm is weaker too, you should use a lighter dumbbell. Going heavy can cause fatigue and even injury.
You may do more reps with your weaker arm to help build more muscles. Buy a set of Titan Fitness Urethane dumbbells and keep doing bicep curls with the left hand during your work breaks or while you are on a call. Or use Rogue kettlebells to isolate and strengthen the weaker arm while watching TV.
If lifting weights throughout the day seems too much, you can try resistance exercises. Use Brebebe Door Anchor Strap and resistance bands or other similar products to try a wide variety of exercises with a full range of motion.
📖 Related Article: Looking for unilateral exercise ideas for your arms? You may be interested in incline bench press alternative workouts.
Use your weaker arm more often
If the weaker arm remains weak, the stronger arms will have to keep compensating for it. Start treating it equally by using it for doing your daily chores such as carrying groceries, arranging clothes in your dresser, doing gardening work, etc.
These are just some random ideas on how you can engage your left arm more and more. Initially, you may feel annoyed because working with the non-dominant hand takes time and conscious effort but you will soon get used to it.
Be mindful and do not let your right arm compensate for the left one
Compensation usually happens subconsciously but now that you know its demerit, you must remain vigilant while exercising and not let your right arm take over at any point. If your left one starts to hurt, take a break. Give it a quick massage and then resume your workout. But, do not let other muscles including the shoulders and core muscles do its work.
Are there any specific exercises you can do if your right arm is bigger than the left?
Any unilateral exercise for biceps can help you strengthen your weaker arm and make it symmetrical with the right one. Here are some of the common ones you can start doing right away:
- Dumbbell curl
- Concentration curls
- Preacher curls
- Cable curls
- Reverse cable curls
- TRX suspension curl
- Hammer curl
- One arm lateral raise
- One-arm dumbbell row
The asymmetry in your arms will take time to even out. Be patient and remain consistent with your efforts. Plus, a minor difference is completely normal and acceptable.
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