How to Even Out Your Arm Muscles
Uneven symmetry throughout your body is normal, but shouldn't interfere with day-to-day activities or exercise. Your arms may develop larger muscles on your dominant side. This occurs because you often use that arm to carry groceries, reach for high objects and push or pull items during the day. In most cases, the problem is slight, but a muscle imbalance could result in an injury. Proper training allows you to even out the muscles in your arms and helps counteract a disproportionate look. Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Use dumbbells while strength training. This prevents you from favoring the strong arm, which you might do with a barbell or weight machine. Incorporate dumbbells during curls, rows and presses.
Do one-and-two-and-one repetitions during each arm move. This allows you to work both arms at the same time, but emphasizes the weaker one. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. When doing an arm exercise, perform one repetition with your underdeveloped arm, while keeping your stronger one at rest. On the next repetition, perform the move with both arms. Alternate back and forth until you complete your set.
Incorporate one-and-two-and-one sets into your routine. The idea is similar to going back and forth during each repetition but, instead of doing one with the weak arm followed by one with both arms and back and forth, you'll do a complete set of the arm exercise with your weak side. Next, you'll do a set with both arms. This challenges your underdeveloped arm, while still allowing you to work the dominant one as well.
Use different size dumbbells in each hand. Hold a slightly heavier weight in your underdeveloped arm. This allows you to complete a traditional workout without having to alternate back and forth among sets and repetitions. For example, hold an 8-pound dumbbell on your dominant side and a 10-pound dumbbell on your weaker side.
Do more repetitions with a lighter dumbbell on your weak side. Increasing the number of repetitions by using a smaller pound load increases the blood flow to your targeted muscle, which helps build mass and strength. Bodybuilding.com suggests doing at least 50 repetitions for this purpose.
When choosing weights, be sure you can complete 12 repetitions with proper form to lower the risk of injuries and maximize the benefits of your chosen arm exercises.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.