Health and fitness: Hi Sir, 

I’ve been working on building my biceps for the past one year. The progress in my left bicep is much less than the right, and the peak on the right bicep is more than the left. How do I improve the progress on my left bicep? 

Namgyel, Thimphu. 

Hi Namgyel,

There is nothing that exists in nature that is perfect balance. The beauty of perfection lies in its imperfections!

Disparities in shape, size and strength between the same muscles on either side of our bodies are very common.

All of us favour one side more than the other. Because of that we may have disparity in control, feeling, balance and strength on either side.

Having some differences between the either sides is common and normal. But they are health risk if the disparity is too much, spine curvature, tilting of shoulder and hips in time could lead to a lot of discomfort, wear and tear of muscle and injury accompanied by pain.

Tip of the week

The more muscular balance you achieve, the less you risk the chances of injury.

In your case, it seems it is more of an aesthetic issue than performance or health.

I can share my personal experience and how I dealt with it successfully; not only are my arms of the same size. But they are equally strong.

The imbalance in your biceps has been created by a lifetime of favouring one bicep more. So hoping to fix it in a few weeks is futile. It will take months, perhaps even a few years. It depends on the effort you put in, also on your genetics, nutrition and rest.

Strategies to improve balance between the biceps: 

1. Use only unilateral movement, meaning use exercise where each bicep works independently like a dumbbell preacher curl. This will feed you continual information on how each bicep is performing in relation to the other.

2. Use the stronger bicep first and count the number of maximum repetitions it performs in a certain exercise/move, then complete the same number of reps with the weaker bicep, with or without help from your hands that’s free. In time it will be forced to adapt.

3. I highly recommend dumbbell preacher curl, dumbbell concentration curl, and single arm high pulley curl for the best results. Perform 8-20 repetitions per set.

Tshering Dorji (three times Mr Bhutan winner), is a certified fitness trainer and specialist in performance nutrition


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