Unilateral Training

Individuals new to the gym might show strength imbalances between their opposing limbs, which is referred to as a bilateral asymmetries. Asymmetries are the imbalance between the limbs, and bilateral movements are performed by both sides of the body such as a barbell curls or the bench press. Individuals with a longer training experience tend show bilateral facilitation. Bilateral facilitation is an increase in the force production in the primary muscle causing the movement of the exercises. Increases in bilateral facilitation is great for overall strength gains. In order to reduce bilateral asymmetries, a trainer can implement unilateral training exercises to increase the bilateral facilitation which is what you’re looking for. Below will discuss the unilateral exercises for both upper body and lower body to help reduce bilateral asymmetries. 

Lower body unilateral exercises that can be performed are step ups, alternating lunges, and Bulgarian splits squats which is the movement when the athlete elevates their rear foot on a bench or step, the lead lead in front of the body performs a split squat. Upper body exercises include, single arm shoulder press, single arm cable chest press, and single arm cable row. 


Implementing these exercises are great for reducing bilateral asymmetries, and are great for recovery for athletes coming back from an injury. For anyone who is a experienced lifter, unilateral training will not cause strength gains as it will for the inexperienced. Though experience lifters could use unilateral exercise to help reduce musical imbalances, and bounce back from a injury.


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