There are many different forms and styles of training when it comes to weightlifting programs or fitness in general. Every person is different from each other from how they move, their physical balance or even which hand they use on a daily basis.
The general population as you know primarily uses one hand over the other, which is called your dominant hand which you use to pick up things, write, clean, etc. In the gym you may have noticed while working out that one arm or leg may be stronger than the other. Over time you come accustomed to your either left or right side dominance due to the higher usage of either arm or leg, which leads to one side being naturally stronger than the other. With this primary use of the left or right side of the body over several years, the opposing side doesn’t get as much use resulting in muscle imbalance.
To fix this you can create your own unilateral based movement program to bring balance to your body in terms of strength and mobility. So what does “unilateral” even mean when it comes to programming? Unilateral is a singular movement of the body such as a single arm bicep curl or single legged squat that isolates a single muscle group.
Before creating a unilateral workout program, you must assess the weak points or limitations in your body. To test this you can perform a plethora of single armed/legged exercises and note down the discrepancies between the right and left sides of the body. Some exercises you can perform for the lower body are, split squats, single legged deadlifts and single legged glute bridges. When performing these movements you want to look for strength differences and mobility differences. Additionally you can try to find mobility imbalances in your upper and lower body by stretching and feeling for tightness on each side of your body.
After you have found your weak points and limitations on each side of your body, you can now put together a simple program fit for your body. Say you have muscle atrophy and limited range of motion in your left leg. We can now choose single legged isolation exercises and stretches to bring up the strength to match the opposite side. Select the amount of sets,reps and weight that you are able to perform comfortably. It is important to stay consistent with proper form to maximise your progression and rehabilitation.
Here at the Markham Gym we can help you bring you to the best version of yourself through nutrition and fitness coaching from our certified trainers in multiple different fields. Come in and sign up for your free Fitness Consultation where you can find out what type of training can benefit your body the most.