left side/right side asymmetry?

exile

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I'm finding myself really frustrated about the asymmetry between my
left and right side capability, especially (of course) in kicking. It's not
a matter of strength---I do fairly intense weight training for both
upper and lower body and don't favor either side, and my left side in
general is strong enough, but balance is a completely different
story. Left rear-leg side kicks and turning kicks are way more effort
for me than right side kicks---I'm strongly right-handed, so this
makes sense, but it doesn't seem to be getting better over time. I
usually work out at least an hour a day on TKD, and throw somewhere
around 700 or so basic kicks (slide and rear leg side kicks, turning
kicks, back kicks) during that hour, so it's not like I'm not
working on it. But during the past year or so, say, it feels as though
I've made very little progress in bringing my left side kicks up to my
right side kicks. There are a lot of little wrinkles here---so, for
example, on my left side, keeping my toes pointed downward during a
rear leg side kick is way more of a *balance* challenge for me on my
left side than on my right, even though I have a slight birth defect
in my right leg which causes my foot to rotate outward.

I'm interested in any feedback on this, but I'd especially welcome
advice from those of you who've been doing TKD for a long time. In
your experience, do the two sides ever even out?
 

Kacey

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I'm interested in any feedback on this, but I'd especially welcome
advice from those of you who've been doing TKD for a long time. In
your experience, do the two sides ever even out?

To a certain extent, yes - but even after 19 years, there are still some kicks that work better for me on one side, and some of the other. In general, my (dominant) right side is stronger, but my left side is more flexible - but it varies some from technique to technique, which side works better, although at this point, they both work reasonably well.
 

IcemanSK

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I've had my issues with trouble on one side or another with certain techniques. For me, I have a stronger left leg, but my balance is better on that side as well. So, I kick more/higher than with my right. My stronger kicks come from the left leg. I work on flexibility & strength in both.

It sounds like you're doing the right things to balance out both sides. As you cotinue, you sure see a differnce in the "asymentry". But I'd imagine you will always have a dominant side. Keep training both sides as you are. I'd recommend not trying to notice the differnce too much. The more you focus on it, the bigger the difference will seem.
 

matt.m

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I agree with Iceman. Look, if you get in the same about of reps on both sides you will more or less even out. There is no such thing as left and right symetry when talking about the dynamics and physics of a kick.

There is one great determinate, the kinesiology and physiology may be the same in a broad view, however there are miniscule difference in the fast/slow twitch muscle fibers pertaining to both sides. There is also a differences symmetrically between the insertion points of such.

To make my point look at old competitive photos of Schwarzenegger. His right bicep and left bicep were different. Both were indeed huge, however his right bicep had more peak and his left was a little longer at the insertion.

Arnold says his left is stronger from working it harder, but every major shot was done with his right arm.

Just keep doing reps. Do them equally both sides, slow down the rep and do them for sets of ten as an isometric. After all doing front leg round house kicks are much better for you than doing seated leg extensions anyway.
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exile

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Hey, Kacey, Iceman and Matt---

thanks very much for your feedback, which I find really reassuring. It's true,
there are bound to be certain built-in differences between the two sides above and beyond which one is dominant---that point about Arnold S. makes a lot of sense. It's just hard to keep that sort of idea in mind when you find yourself struggling to say upright every eighth or ninth left-leg kick in a set of fifty... I'll just keep at it and hope it becomes a bit less marked over time---*and* try not to focus on it too much, as you suggest...
 
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