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Old 06-15-2016, 04:02 PM   #3
Michael Hollister
Member Michael Hollister is offline
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Boulder  CO
Posts: 20
Re: Weaker Left Arm; 10+ year old collarbone injury

Originally Posted by Ali Healy View Post
Hey y'all --

I'm looking for some guidance concerning my weaker left arm and wondering if (a) it was caused by an injury I sustained 10+ years ago, and (b) what exercises I might be able to perform in order to even things out. Any help would be much appreciated!

Back Story:
About 1 month ago, I decided it was finally time to check off the strict pull up in my repertoire of movements and throughout the journey thus far, it's become incredibly apparent that my left arm is significantly weaker than my right. My biggest issue seems to be coming out of the hole from a dead hang -- I can muscle my right arm up to about 90 degrees, but my left arm does jack sh*t. My current prescription includes a lot of eccentric work to help strengthen the pull up muscles, but even then I notice my left arm will literally drop out of the hold near the bottom while my right is still in tact. It's so frustrating!

Now, I understand that it's quite natural to experience slightly less strength on your non-dominant side, but I feel like the difference is more than "slight" in my case and I have a sneaking suspicion that it might have something to do with a broken collarbone I experienced roughly 10+ years ago. I collided with an outfielder during a softball game... and before you say anything, I was the only one who called for it and actually caught the ball for an out before she decided to run me over like a truck. It was a very clean break and since the ends were touching (overlapping), they decided no surgery was necessary.

I'm wondering if I suffered possible nerve damage (definitely had shooting pains for a few years after the fact) or if having a shorter clavicle bone might have anything to do with it...? Has anyone experienced something similar? What can I do to bridge the gap?

Well, this as turned into a novel, so I'll leave it at that for now, haha. Thanks in advance for your help!


The short answer is your body has an amazing ability to heal, and something has disrupted that process. In most cases it is misalignment and compensating patterns. Things are out of balance in your body but it can definitely be restored by doing the right exercises. Since the eccentric work isn't improving things, it means something else needs targeted.

I'd love to talk more offline! I'm a CF-L1 Trainer and specialize in chronic pain/injury/alignment issues. Send me a PM!
Michael Hollister, CF-L1
President, Stability WOD
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