I am right handed so when I learned a scapular retraction cue, I was able to execute better and more with my right shoulder, and because of that, I exaggerated and overused it with my right shoulder.

After some progression I noticed that my right side became very weak; my pull-up numbers decreased very much, as well as my bench and overhead press numbers. Then I realized that my left latissimus dorsi was specifically bigger and stronger than my right one. After that I tried horizontal and vertical pulling with different shoulder and arm positions (like retracted, shrugged or protracted shoulder with pronated or supinated grip).

I have found that my shoulders should be a little bit shrugged to be able to start with slightly stretched lats to effectively then contract the lats, based on trial and error over 5 years. However because I wasn't very dominant with my left side I couldn't screw my left shoulder into it's socket so my left side improved a lot. There is a big difference between them now.

Despite thinking I found the right cue (to train lats you need to shrug shoulder a little bit to start with a stretched position not with retraction) I think I still have an imbalance so it seems this cue is not perfect.

So if you guys have some good advice or a cue to fix this imbalance it would be great very meaningful. This has been too long a struggle for me. Thanks for reading and everything 😊

1 Answer 1


I had a similar issue with lat pull downs. My right bicep was stronger than my left, so my left lat did the heavy lifting paired with my right arm. I'm fairly new to gym but I've been training with pull ups and push ups for years. I tried doing some pullups about a month ago, and noticed how much stronger my left lat was than my right.

I'm still on the way to fixing this, but I'll share what I've been doing.

Take off some weight, a substantial amount. Aim for 8 easy reps, with no sign of failure. Once you've found this weight, set yourself up to perform the exercise.

When it comes to my rep strategy, I do slow '1 and a half reps'. Aiming to build mind muscle connection. This has really helped me get my lats on the same level, my pull ups and pull downs feel much better because I now have a great mind muscle connection. For example, I'd setup a lat pull down and go through this process for each rep.

  • Pull down focussing on initiating the pull with my lats and not biceps
  • Hold the isometric, squeezing both lats
  • Slowly release tension in my lats, letting the bar raise to the middle of my range
  • Pull down again, focussing on controlling the lats
  • Control the release of tension in my lats to raise let the bar raise and end the rep

  • Thanks for sharing knowledge i hope it will work
    – user31416
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 7:51
  • Hope it makes sense and helps! Good luck
    – Dan
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 9:28

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