Unilateral exercises follow a more natural movement pattern for the body than bilateral movements. When was the last time you saw an athlete hop, rather than run? Knowing this, many professional coaches incorporate unilateral strength exercises into athlete training. Focusing on each leg and each arm, can build greater strength, and expose weaknesses. Most people have a strong and a weak side. And when they train both sides together (bilaterally) the stronger side often compensates for the weak side. Incorporating unilateral exercises can help resolve this problem.
Unilateral movements are also often compound movements. Meaning that not only is the targeted muscle working, but also the surrounding muscles. Therefore, these movements burn more calories and build more overall strength.
If you want to train “athletically” and not just for aesthetics, incorporate unilateral movements into your routine.
Examples of unilateral exercises:
- One arm dumbbell chest press
- Single arm shoulder press
- Alternate side lats or power side lateral raises
- One arm t-bar row
- One arm push up
- One arm pull up
- Single leg squat (non-working leg elevated on bench to the rear)
- Single leg hip thrusts
- Single leg deadlift (non-working leg elevated to rear on down movement)
- Single leg calf raise
- Skater squats
This list can go on, and on . . .
This exercise will shape your legs and glutes, as well as strengthen them.
As an athlete for over 19 years and a broke single mom for most of that time, I created brokesinglemomfitness.com, now LLAFIT.com, to aid anyone who believes the road to fitness requires a lot of cash or time. In reality, the way to fitness is paved with knowledge and firm principles; teaching readers how to master both is the goal of this site. LLAFIT – Lifelong Affordable Fitness