Arm Length Discrepancy? Arm Length Discrepancy?

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Thread: Arm Length Discrepancy?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    111

    Default Arm Length Discrepancy?

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    Coach,
    quick question. Ever dealt with someone with an arm length discrepancy that impacts their lifts? Specifically thinking about the press. Reason I ask: I have a measurable leg-length discrepancy, about 1/4" longer on my left side. I've addressed that with a shim. But generally speaking my whole left side is slightly but perceptibly larger than the right (even my left pupil). As my press has gotten heavier, I don't believe that I am not getting to complete lockout on my left side, and I suspect that it may be because my left arm is slightly longer. Presumably this was less of an issue with lighter weights because I could manage the lateral imbalance of the bar more easily. (For instance, I don't have any problem locking out at my last warmup, currently 125). Additionally I've been getting some pain and inflammation in my left AC joint after pressing over the last few sessions (probably since about 145, currently pressing 157).

    This possible explanation only dawned on me last night while I was training, so I haven't had a chance to investigate it with another set of eyes or with video. I intend to have my wife measure my arms tonight. I assume the best way would be to lie on the floor with the top of my shoulders lined up on the tile lines, and then comparing where the elbows and wrists line up?

    If there is actually a discrepancy, would the solution be to widen the grip slightly on the long-arm side?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
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    40,022

    Default

    What does your bench press lockout look like? Level?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    111

    Default

    I'd have to get video on the bench press to confirm, but it doesn't feel unlevel in my hands at lockout.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    111

    Default

    To follow up:
    Visual inspection shows no appreciable difference in arm length.
    I had a friend of mine spot me last night and we looked pretty carefully at my bench press. He agreed it looked level at lockout and remained perpendicular to my body, so no drift that would indicate a length discrepancy there. Moving on the press, careful investigation revealed that as fatigue builds toward the end of a set, form starts to break down (no shit?!) and that's contributing to the lockout issues and shoulder pain, not anything anthropometric. So, mystery solved, going to address the obvious first and go from there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Akron, OH
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    1,099

    Default

    I had a similar issue for a while. The solution my coach and I came up with was to "make the fucking bar level." It took a few weeks, but I haven't had the problem since. Sometimes, mysteries and their solutions are just that simple.

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