Restoring Form to Imbalance Bench Press

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Question: I always have a problem with my left arm when I do bench presses. It is weaker and I tend to try to lift it off of the bench during the set. How do I fix this problem of my left side?
Answer: Typically, this is not actually a problem of one side being stronger than the other side. Most of the time it is a lack of proper form caused by concentrating on using more weight instead of training for form first. Continued reps with heavier weight has compounded the imbalance.
There are a few methods you can use to stabilize your core and strengthen both the muscles on your left side and improve your motor skills transmission on your left. On your right, you could compare your motor skills to the flow of traffic on I-40. The message from your brain to your muscles is quick and smoothly flowing. On the left your neural transmission is more like a dirt road. slow with a lot of bumps. Unfortunately you have to put your ego aside and start over… on your bench press. Special attention is needed to form.
Once you lie on the bench and place your hands on the bar, set your feet in a wide stance with your feet firmly planted and pressed in the floor. Lock your hips on the bench and lift your ribcage to lock your shoulder blades on the bench. This provides a stable lifting platform. With an empty bar, do five reps. Control the speed of the bar as it lowers to your chest and with an explosive drive, press it out to arm’s length. Begin adding weight and perform 5 sets adding weight with each set.Perform 5 reps on each set. When you are unable maintain your proper form terminate the set. Use a spotter to insure that you keep your shoulders locked firmly on the bench.
Another training method to improve both your muscular strength and motor skills transmission is to use dumbbells for chest presses both on a flat bench and an incline bench. Push both dumbbells up but keep the right dumbbell locked out and perform reps with your left arm. Do at least 3 sets of 5 reps on each set. It sounds like a slow process but the change you need can occur very quickly.
Once balance is restored and your form is correct, then your bench press will progress very quickly.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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