One of the fitness goals that many work towards is having a balanced body in both physique and strength. While as humans we have bilateral mirror symmetry it’s typically not exact. One eye might be slightly bigger than the other. The right foot may be shaped a little differently than the left. The same goes for the muscles in our body in regards to both strength and shape. Sometimes the differences between right and left are genetic and other times due to external influences such as always picking things up with the right hand. I know that my right upper arm has always been slightly bigger than my left, and that my left thigh is slightly bigger than my right. A lot of times these size discrepancies go unnoticed, but if the difference is ~0.5 inches or more it can be visible. More importantly, having unbalanced strength between the sides of the body can possibly lead to an injury.
Resistance training in general can help balance out our bodies, but if care is not given, the unbalance can be made even worse. When doing lifts with a barbell or machine often times the stronger side will take over without us even knowing it. Unilateral exercises are often the key to fixing these situations. One sided movements can be done with dumbbells, cables, and some plate loaded unilateral machines like Hammer Strength. Exercising one side of the body at a time can also help develop a ‘mind-muscle’ connection. This enables us to achieve more results from all our individual exercises. This type of training also makes the core work overtime to keep our body stabilized. I suggest doing at least one unilateral movement for each muscle group fairly often and sometimes do a full workout this way.
Read the rest of this article HERE.