Reading Time: 4 mins
Word Count: 400-500 words
Why Unilateral Movements are so important for your training
Simply put, it is a movement that involves only one side of the body, such as a single arm bicep curl. Whilst most people tend to gravitate towards bilateral movements (using both sides of the body), I will now go through the 3 reasons why you should not overlook this isolated form of training:
Have you ever noticed that one arm can perform more bicep curls than the other? This is because most people have a dominant side to their body. By adapting your workout to prioritise on the weaker side of your body, you will begin to create a more even balance of strength, fixing those imbalances. This small change will ultimately improve your overall power and ability to lift, when it comes to using both arms or legs.
A quality often overlooked in people’s training, with a greater focus being given to strength or size (even by some seasoned gym goers). However, if you do take the time to focus on it, there are huge rewards to gain such as;
- Allowing the less trained, smaller muscles to be able to assist the bigger, main muscles a lot more efficiently.
- Creating a better mind-to-muscle connection, as you are forced to focus more intently to turn on those smaller muscles, so that your body can deal with controlling the heavy weight.
Applying this to heavier loads (squats) or explosive movements (running after a football), is when this newly trained, extra stability really begins to help. You will be able to channel the power of the primary muscles and create more efficiency in the use of this power, leading to an improved athletic performance. For example, training a single leg lunge will help train stability muscles in the hips, ankles, and knees, so when it comes time to squat, there will be less wobbly knees and an improved power.
- Aesthetic Symmetry
Last but not least, training unilaterally will help you look better! To build an aesthetically pleasing physique you need symmetry. Unilateral movements will ensure that both sides of your body develop equally and lead to a complete physique.
To summarise, for a stronger, more symmetrical body it is vital to train unilateral movements. By creating an even distribution on both sides of the body, it allows an improved efficiency within the workouts.
As a personal trainer at WAKE FIT, I ensure that my strength-focused clients have unilateral movements incorporated within their training. After a good strength workout, these movements allow for both an overloading of the muscles whilst also creating fatigue.