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Chest building question

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    Zero Tolerance's Avatar
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    Chest building question


    For the longest time I've had a fairly noticeably larger right pec than left pec. I could never figure it out until yesterday when I was doing something out of the ordinary at a friend's suggestion. I was doing dumbbell presses where you press the left side, hold it up at the extended position, press the right side, then lower the left side while holding the right side at the extended position - I forget what these are called.

    In any event, I realized that my left elbow pulls into my side/waist at about half way down while the right side goes straight down with my elbow pointing out and away from my body. I have two bad shoulders (need compression surgery in both) but the left side is much worse. So I'm not getting nearly the same range of movement with my left side.

    It appears as if going forward, I'm going to have to do my dumbbell presses with my elbows pulled in close to my body (if I want to grow evenly) keeping my palms facing one another throughout (as opposed to doing presses more like I'm using a straight bar). Since I'm pretty sure this is going to take away from the movement building the outer parts of my chest (for the v-shape), will machine flies (I have two different types of these machines that I can switch on and off with) be adequate for building some muscle if I eventually get heavy enough with them?

    Thanks in advance...

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    lonewolf0420's Avatar
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    Pulling your elbows in close will take the brunt off the pec, and place it on the tri's.

    Maybe continue performing the unilateral DB presses with lighter weight. Build up the stability.

    Start doing shoulder stability and rotator cuff exercises. See if that helps.
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    Could just be genetics- or could be your technique. I agree with lonewolf- don't bring them in as that would put less strain on your chest. Stick with dumbbells for most of your presses to force each side to do the same workload. Eventually they'll balance out- unless it's genetics
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    A lot of how your chest shapes out is dependent on genetics. As far as one side being larger than the other, that may have been caused by training or you favoring a certain arm (i.e., right arm being larger cause you right handed, ect..).

    Check your lifting techniques and fix them if they need fixing. If so, this should eventually balance out your chest. I don't know about isolating one side to try to bring it up; you may try doing some seated machine flyes and just adding 1 extra set for your weak side during your chest training. I've never done this and it may be BS but it's all I can think of.

    Good luck!
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    If you have two shoulder injuries, I would lose the dumbbells and jump on a chest press machine. Balancing the chest with shape and size will definitely be form based. If your favoring one side, especailly do to any injury, you will have different gowth. If you do bring your arms into a nuetral position, this will take the strain off of your chest as well as your shoulders and put the brunt of it on you triceps. Honestly, if I had both shoulders injured, my concern and focus would be rehabilation/stability of the two, rather than an eye sore on my chest. Whatever you do, I would suggest taking your time and gradually trying to fix chest balancing, with light weight and proper technique! Good luck bro!
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    Thanks, guys.. I tried going very light but even with 20 pound dumbbells, it's too painful. I need impingement surgery on both shoulders. I'm pretty sure any rehabilitation that doesn't include surgery to begin with won't work. When I saw a doctor years ago, he said it's my bone structure that's causing the problem - and it would have happened over time regardless of my technique..

    In any event, I do realize that what I'm suggesting to do here will take some of the stress off my pecs - placing more on my triceps. However, I have a feeling that I'll eventually be able to lift enough with this technique to make gains. As it stands, it appears I'm only able to lift sixty pound dumbbells without pain otherwise.

    Maybe if I work my way back up to 100s with my elbows held in, I'll gain more mass than doing them normally with 60s... Like Type O Hero mentioned, I'm kinda hoping genetics will help shape me where I want to be - as long as I'm lifting heavy. It just seems that this is my only chance of lifting any decent weight.

    Any thoughts on that?
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    I agree with asoulecpt- if you're shoulders are that bad, you should just forego the dumbbell training until they're fixed. It takes a lot of secondary muscles to support and balance the weights, and if something gave or went out, it could result in injury. Play it safe until you get everything under control imo.
    I wish you luck and a speedy recovery!
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