Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Muscle imbalance? page

  1. #1
    sjmc's Avatar
    sjmc is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    593

    Muscle imbalance?

    Primal Fuel
    I'm wondering if I have a disproportionate amount of 'push' strength, or if this is normal:

    I can do tricep dips on parallel bars with good form, 10 at a time to start and then many bouts of about 6. But I can't do a chin up / pull up. I can, however, do suuuper slow negatives, pause and hold halfway down, etc.

    I do have weight to lose (though I had the same strength skills when I was lighter), but if I can push my entire body weight through space easily, shouldn't I be able to pull it up? Or are full tricep dips just a lot easier than pull ups?

    I'm not even sure what what I would change in response to an answer .. just wonderin'.

  2. #2
    Grafter's Avatar
    Grafter is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    284
    I'll say that it isn't that uncommon to have more strength in certain movements/planes of motion and their related variations. Since you are moving your body through the same space, but you are doing so with different muscles/levers and depending on your strength, limb lengths and muscle size/development (in this case comparing the relative strength of your biceps & back against your triceps & chest, not how muscular you look).

    Does it really bother you? Or impact your life? If so, you can focus on training those areas and movements to overcome your perceived inbalances and weaknesses.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    phoenix, az
    Posts
    59
    In a normal everyday routine we do a lot more pushing then pulling. Ie. You push yourself up out of a chair.
    We normally (as an adult) don't pull ourselves up. Ie climbing trees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    70
    I don't think it's uncommon at all.

    When doing dips, you are using triceps as assist muscles, which are larger and stronger than biceps (usually) - and biceps perform the same function in pullups.

    Furthermore, I think the range-of-motion in dips tends to be less than in pullups.

    Finally, if you have been what is often called a "typical" gym-goer for any period of times, you probably did more pushing exercises at more productive weights than you did pulling exercises. For example, lots of people do lots of benches, incline benches, tricep work, etc - but for the back spend time with pull-downs and rows and other exercises that don't really get you close to pullups.

    If you go to a gym, you could use the assisted pullup machine to work your way towards your body-weight, and then switch to the pullup bar.

    Or you could obtain a version of LifelineUSA's Pullup Revolution. Beachbody sells one - and I've seen a licensed knock-off at Dick's (I think it's by Skillz). My wife used one a while back, and went from none pullups to as many as 2. I like it, because it more closely resembles the natural motion of a pullup than the assisted machines at the gym do.

  5. #5
    Coach Palfrey's Avatar
    Coach Palfrey is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,140
    You should also consider the biomechanics involved during each movement and, though not exclusively, the position of your anchor point in relation to your centre of mass. In a pull up your anchor (hands) are about as far away from your centre of mass as they can get whereas in a dip your hands are virtually parallel to your centre of mass. This makes a big difference.

  6. #6
    sjmc's Avatar
    sjmc is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    593
    Thanks guys, I bet I could do a chin if I lost all the dead weight round my middle. I just thought it was weird that even so I could do dips. I figured they must be easier, and the stuff about hand position / levers makes sense as to why.

    I want to be able to go from a set of dips to a set of chins instead of running to the lat pulldown at the gym, Like a badass.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    phoenix, az
    Posts
    59
    Grease the groove!

    Get yourself a door frame pull up bar. Every time you walk by it, try to do a Pull up.

    You'll be able to do a chin up in no time!

    Bob

  8. #8
    WeldingHank's Avatar
    WeldingHank is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Lawrence,Ma
    Posts
    694
    Quote Originally Posted by sjmc View Post
    Thanks guys, I bet I could do a chin if I lost all the dead weight round my middle. I just thought it was weird that even so I could do dips. I figured they must be easier, and the stuff about hand position / levers makes sense as to why.

    I want to be able to go from a set of dips to a set of chins instead of running to the lat pulldown at the gym, Like a badass.
    I'm in the same boat as you. Can do push-ups and dips for days (I do 50 push-ups(10X5) 3 days a week), but untill 1 day ago could muster no chin-ups. Just did my first chin-up yesterday, after doing 10 negatives 3 times a week for the last month.

  9. #9
    jenn26point2's Avatar
    jenn26point2 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    7,783
    Quote Originally Posted by Philosopher Dan View Post
    When doing dips, you are using triceps as assist muscles, which are larger and stronger than biceps (usually) - and biceps perform the same function in pullups.
    I was informed when I was in the Army that the triceps can do more work than a bicep because it's larger so I should be able to do heavier weights on overhead tricep lifts (the one where the weight is behind your head and pushed up - not sure what that move is really called) than I can with curls.

    I can also do dips (although they make my elbows hurt) but can do zero pullups.
    Primal since March 5, 2012
    SW: 221 | CW: 182 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)




  10. #10
    George's Avatar
    George is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    26
    Many people suffer with tricep/bicep imbalances along with anterior versus posterior deltoid issues. I can bet my life's saving that anyone who sits at a desk for a job has bad serratus anterior muscles without any type of focus to prevent the laxity of the back muscle in relation to holding the shoulder girdle in the proper position. We all have tight hip flexors too!

    When you are doing dips, triceps are an agonist (prime mover). During a pull-up and chin-up, biceps are assisting (upward) and acting as an antagonist (eccentric portion) as the musculature of the back, particularly the latissimus dorsi, middle trapezius, and rhomboids are the agonists.

    Coach Palfrey hits on a good point.

    Leverage comes into play in a dip as leaning gives mechanical advantage (just as in an overhead press when people lean back for mechanical advantage).

    If someone here cannot do a pull-up, the problem is most likely lack of strength in the prime movers, coupled with a poor strength to bodyweight ratio. The key is to build the strength in the musculature. Because the force in the muscle is always more during the eccentric portion, one can use this to help train the musclulature. Doing negative pull-ups (starting from the top and slowly lowering) will provide some assitance to the exercise. Other methods include assisted pull-ups with a partner or stretch bands. Isometric hangs can also provide some assistance. But, once a pull-up is obtained, training the pull-up itself is the best option from that point forward to provide specificity of training.

    One thing to note during the pull-up is the use of a loose shoulder girdle (something I see way too often). This is often employed incorrectly in kipping pull-ups and can lead to injury. This isn't to say kipping pull-ups are bad or to bring up that debate, but incorrectly loosening the shoulder (again due to poor stablization of the shoulder girdle) during any movement with the arms can lead to injury.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •