Best Abs & Arms Exercises For Asymmetrical Postures (Left AIC & Right BC)Mar 14, 2022
So you're asymmetrical, but you still want to build some muscle and make some gains.
This is what I'm here to help with today.
If you would rather watch than read, see below:
Goals of the Left AIC & Right BC
An asymmetrical body requires an asymmetrical approach. This doesn't mean our entire exercise program has to be extremely asymmetrical, but it does mean we can optimize our progress and improve muscles imbalances by strategically selecting exercises that will fit the needs of our asymmetry.
We know that based on the Left AIC pattern, the left obliques and transverse abdominis abs are underdeveloped and weak relative to the right.
We are sitting in our right sides more, which allows the right obliques to pull the right ribs down into an internally rotated state, which results in the left side ribs flaring up more. This causes a restriction in right anterior (front) chest wall expansion and left posterior (back) chest expansion.
The right shoulder is pulled forward into more of a winged state and the left into more of a retracted state.
This causes a limitation in:
- Right shoulder internal rotation
- Right shoulder adduction
- Left shoulder external rotation
- Left shoulder flexion
The goal would be to pick exercises that will allow us to improve right anterior and left posterior expansion, and we can do that with ab training that targets the left obliques more.
Because ribcage expansion is a significant consideration here, I cue breathing in a controlled, slow manner to ensure we are getting the most out of these exercises. If breathing is shallow and restricted, we won't be getting as much expansion in the desired areas as we otherwise could.
Below is a progression of ab exercises that I like to use to help strengthen the obliques.
I will usually program these at the end of the workout, sometimes with asymmetrical sets as needed. For example, I might program 3 sets of 12 reps on the left, and 1 set of 12 on the right.
The goal is to work up to be able to go through dynamic ab training. In normal gait and human locomotion, the ribcage is constantly moving from expansion and compression from one side to the other. Whatever one side of the body or ribcage is doing, usually the opposite is happening on the other side.
Here is another example I like for training that type of ribcage alternation of expansion & compression:
If you want many more examples and exercise programming, I highly recommend you check out my Biomechanics Program.
Arm Training For Left AIC & Right BC Patterns
Keeping in mind that the goal is to improve right side internal rotation and adduction, we can accomplish that in the following ways:
Right Shoulder Internal Rotation & Adduction
There are a few principles to keep in mind if we want to improve shoulder internal rotation:
- Prone positions (chest facing down) will help improve front ribcage expansion
- The serratus anterior, triceps, and low traps are all muscles that will help pull the scapula back on the ribcage on the right to help it become less "winged"
Here are a few exercises to help improve that:
If you're looking for more strategies to improve movement to help your clients feel great, check out my free webinar: 5 Strategies To Help Your Clients Feel 85% Better Immediately
Left Shoulder External Rotation
For the left side, we primarily want to promote:
- Posterior ribcage expansion and recruitment of the left abs alongside that
- The use of the serratus anterior as a muscle to help pull the ribs back on that side so the scapula on that side can be less "retracted"
If we can "open" the right side along with the above, that's an added bonus
Here are some exercises that can help with that:
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