Shim or no shim? Shim or no shim?

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Thread: Shim or no shim?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    16

    Default Shim or no shim?

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    I was born with a large tibial leg length discrepancy. My right leg was 3 inches shorter than the left. I had my right tibia lengthened 8 years ago. Now my right leg is only 7mm shorter than the left. My femurs are of equal length. I also have some lumbar scoliosis, it is very slight, around 10-15 degrees. Didn’t even know until I got an x ray. My surgeon told me that I didn’t have to wear a shim if I didn’t want to, since the current leg length discrepancy is only 7mm. Basically my surgeon did not have a strong opinion on whether I should wear a 0.25” shim or not. I have read on this board that the common suggestion is to shim the shoe to balance the base of the scoliosis. I have been wearing a shim for a long time. I recently got two x rays of my back from a chiropractor. I got one while barefoot, and one while wearing my shoes and a 0.25” shim. The chiro said that the shim produces a level pelvis however it exacerbates the curve in my spine. This has me rethinking whether I should wear a shim or not. My lumbar spine is slightly concave on the right side and the anatomically short leg is the right leg. I have been wearing a 0.25” shim for a while now. I feel slightly better lifting with the shim, although it is hard to tell because it’s only a quarter inch. Should I shim to attain a level pelvis at the expense of possibly worsening my back asymmetry? Or should I just not shim at all? My left spinal erector (the convex side) is slightly larger than the right and I know this is due to the spinal asymmetry. Starting strength and gaining weight has helped my back and legs feel the best they have ever had. I just want to keep progressing and try to be as symmetrical as I can make myself despite the asymmetry. I’m not seeking medical advise. I have already talked to many medical professionals and quite frankly they don’t haven’t helped much. Starting strength has helped much more than the conservative exercises they prescribe. I just want to know some suggestions and if anyone else has experience with this.

    Age: 19
    Heigh: 5’ 8”
    Weight: 185lbs
    Squat: 285 3x5
    Deadlift 330 2x3
    Bench: 250 2x3
    Press: 160 2x3

    Here’s a rear view of my squat with the 0.25” shim on right leg. It was my last top set.

    Squat 285x5 - YouTube

    Here’s a side view of my squat

    280 x 5 squat - YouTube

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
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    43,197

    Default

    A 7mm discrepancy is not much, but I'd probably shim it anyway. Your stance is staggered in the back view, right foot about an inch behind the left. Is this intentional?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    16

    Default

    I am a unique case. I actually have asymmetrical feet. My right foot is about 1 inch shorter than the left. Im a size 11 on my left and a 9 on the right. I might have accidentally staggered my stance too much in that video. When I squat I always try to line my heels up. When I deadlift I set up with both shins 1 from the bar as directed in the 5 step process. I havent found any info about how to set up with different size feet. Should I be doing it differently?

  4. #4
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    Jul 2007
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    North Texas
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    Default

    Depends on what is wrong with your feet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    The main thing that is wrong with my feet is that my right foot is 2 sizes smaller than the left. I was just born that way. I always buy 2 pairs of different size shoes to fit my feet. Have you ever coached anyone with different sized feet? Ive never met anyone else who has experience with this issue so I really am not sure if Im setting up right for my lifts. I realize this is a highly individualistic problem so there is not a lot of information on it.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
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    It doesn't matter if your feet are symmetrical, as long as the middle of each foot is directly under the bar. This probably means that the shorter right foot should appear to be forward of the left foot from the back, not what I see in the video. And if you take your pulling stance with one inch between vertical shins and the bar, then the bar will be over the mid-foot on both sides.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    That sounds like the best approach. Thanks for the advice.

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