Right Oblique is stronger than Left - any tips for balancing out?

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24 Posts
Oct 24, 2014 12:09am

I notice it when doing side planks. I can do them on my right side (though, admittedly not for long), but on the left I have to modify - can't even lift myself into a left plank, let alone stay there, so am forced to do the left side modified, which is really only going to increase the strength discrepancy if I'm only modifying the plank on the left.

I imagine the imbalance is most likely because I've always carried my handbag on the right side. Since I have a habit of toting books around with me, it's probably a little heavier than the average ladies' handbag.

It's not a visual concern. I still have too much belly fat to even notice if one oblique is bigger than the other, honestly, but the strength between the two sides is significantly different.

Any tips for balancing out? I keep trying to remind myself to carry the handbag on the left, but it's so automatic to pick it up on the right that by the time I remember, I'm usually already putting it down. :)

289 Posts
Oct 24, 2014 11:20am
via Android

Firstly, I'd say stop carrying your bag on one shoulder all the time. It's terrible for your back in the long term. Either consciously alternate which shoulder you carry it on, or ideally throw it away and buy a good ruck sack.

I honestly don't see much benefit in trying to compensate for a poorly-carried heavy shoulder-bag through exercise. Much better to sort the actual source of the problem out! I hope I've been helpful

24 Oct
I may have oversimplified in the interest of keeping the question brief. I actually carry the bag very little. Maybe 1-2 minutes per day, just to and from the car. I don't bring it into stores or anything of the sort. A backpack would be cumbersome for such limited toting. And, while I agree that I should be conscious of picking it up left handed, it's very unnatural since both in the car and at my desk it sits on my right side, so I would need to contort myself to pick it up left handed. That's not the sum...
24 Oct
Right sided planks work mainly your right obliques but carrying groceries on your right side would work mainly your left obliques so I'm now a little confused :-S
24 Oct
Would they? It doesn't feel like it. I've got to admit the mechanics of that are a bit over my head. Sufficed to say, in the day to day, my right side gets put through significantly more weight bearing activity, which appears to have caused a strength imbalance that has made my right side significantly stronger and more stable than the left. (Both sides are weak, admittedly, but left is way weaker). Since lifestyle is going to continue with certain activities that can't be swapped from one side to the other, I need to figure out the best way to...
24 Oct
You're correct when you say there will always be some imbalance. Our dominant side is usually a bit stronger than our non-dominant side. (I'm right-handed, so the right side of my body is slightly stronger than the left because I use it more in day-to-day life). What's fascinating in your case is that it's the oblique on your non-dominant side that is stronger (though this is easily explained by reading your previous comments). I think accepting a degree of imbalance is sensible but if there is a major discrepancy in strength between both sides then the simple answer would be...
24 Oct
Thank you. I think the only way around the side plank issue may ve to go light on the right until the left catches up enough to not need to modify them. If I only modify one side, the gap in strength will only get wider. Thinking about it, since my workspace is designed for someone very right-side dominant, and I can do most things fine with either hand, I probably end up doing more things righty than I realize, just as a matter of convenience.