Unilateral Training: Why It's Beneficial for Your Training

Unilateral Training:

Why It's Beneficial for Your Training

What Is Unilateral Training?

Unilateral means one limb or one side of the body.

Why it’s important?

Help Correct Imbalances
It’s extremely rare to have a perfect symmetry. When we exercise in a traditional sense, bilaterally (both legs, both arms), we tend to overcompensate to one side, which in time can lead to injuries and stagnant strength gains.

Improves midline stabilization
Your midline (core) has to work harder to keep upright and balanced.

Improves balance
Not only does your core get over worked, but so does your overall stability of the working limb, depending on upper or lower body movement. With improved ability to stabilize limb by limb comes stronger muscles, tendons and joints. Decreasing the risk of injury, and longer term stability.
Try These Unilateral Movements:

Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press
Grab a pair of dumbbells. Lie on your back on a bench, and hold the dumbbells a few inches above your chest. Press one dumbbell upward until your arm is fully extended. Pause and slowly retract extended arm to start position. Then complete the same motion on the opposite side. Continue in an alternating manner.
Bird Dog Row
Rest your left hand and knee on a bench, with your right leg on the floor for support. Lift and extend your left leg straight out and use your right hand to pick up a dumbbell. Row the dumbbell straight up until your upper arm is parallel with the bench. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.
Bulgarian Split Squats 
Stand lunge-length in front of a bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest the top of your left foot on the bench behind you. Lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
Try a full body workout!
Alternating Dumbbell Chest Press x 10 reps per arm
Rest 30 sec 
Bird dog Row x 10 reps per arm
Rest 30 sec 
Bulgarian Split Squats x 10 per leg
Rest 2 minutes 
Complete 3-4 rounds (using a medium to light weight) 

Written by Alex Manson
Strength and Conditioning Specialist


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