Throughout the day we barely use bilateral movements in order to carry out tasks, what we do use though are mostly unilateral movements. Unilateral movements are single leg, or single arm or movements where we use only one of the body part in singularity. When it comes to strength training, one arm row, single hand bicep curl are examples of unilateral training.
Including unilateral training can be very beneficial to help reach our goals more efficiently and optimally.
1. Equal or symmetrical development: In bilateral movements usually the stronger side of our limbs uses up all its energy to pull or push the bar in the desired range of motion. This results in one side developing more than the other side. Unilateral movements help balance these differences within the body.
2. Improves strength: Unilateral exercises help build more strength for your bigger compound bilateral movements. Training each limb separately will only improve the overall strength on the bilateral movement and not vice versa. Imagine doing a single leg press before a double leg press. The amount of strength you gain on each leg will add up to the bilateral or double leg press you perform.
3. Core stabilization: In order to maintain the body balance single limb of unilateral movements force the body to activate the core stabilizers more and thereby improving their efficiency. This will prove beneficial in day to day life as well due to their adaptation.
4. Avert Injuries: Even injuries can be averted as unilateral movements ask for each limb to be used separately and thereby developing equal strength in each one of them. This helps avoid injuries.
Almost all bilateral movements can be turned into unilateral movements to help attain overall symmetrical development along with equal strength on both limbs. The right approach to any training plan would be to include both of the training patterns to an optimal level that helps you get desired results.
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