Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Importance of Unilateral Training

Uni-what? Unilateral training is a particular way to exercise one group of muscles on one side of your body. Any exercise that does not utilize either arms or both legs or utilizes dumbbells so the movements of both limbs are separate is unilateral training. Unilateral training increases strength of the weaker limb, which leads to an overall heavier lift and a more balanced body. Some examples of unilateral exercises are dumbbell bench (incline, decline, or flat), one-arm dumbbell bench (any variation listed before), step ups, one-legged leg curl, one-legged RDLs, one-arm dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell row, one-arm lat pull down, etc.

Unilateral training allows for a person to notice strength deficiencies. We have all heard of some one that says their left leg is stronger than their right leg or seen some one on bench press that consistently has the bar concentrically moving up first on the left and the right follows. Even some one that is trying to push evenly on both sides will push more from their stronger side.

Bilateral training would be back and front squat, barbell bench (incline, decline, or flat), barbell shoulder press, etc. Bilateral training is used exclusively in strength competitions because who care how much a person can press with just one arm or leg. However, strengthening your weak points by utilizing unilateral training will help increase you weights for bilateral movements.

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