and vise versa.
Whether you are WALKING, STEPPING UP OR DOWN, RUNNING OR CLIMBING, you never have both feet securely planted on the ground.
THEN WHY EXERCISE WITH BOTH FEET ON THE GROUND?
We don't! My clients, who range from busy moms, through artists to CEOs, all benefit from the effects of unilateral exercises, those challenging moves that make you move...well, like you normally move...just harder, heavier, faster, so your body gets fitter, stronger, leaner and tighter.
They help even out imbalances.
Most people's left and right lower limbs differ in strength. Doing one leg squats will improve your back or front squat in no time!
They allow you to load your lower body without overloading your lower back.
Just compare a 100 lb lunge to a 220 lb squat!
They help you work your core muscles without doing potentially dangerous abdominal exercises.
This saves you unnecessary effort and valuable time and shows you know how to work your abs!
They are metabolically expensive. Can you say f-a-t-b-u-r-n? It takes more calories to perform a long set of lunges than a shorter set of squats and it will surely stir metabolic havoc for hours after you are done training
They prevent injuries.
Every time you sit in your car, climb upstairs, go downstairs, step and lift something off the floor, get in and out of bed and run to catch a taxi , you are doing real life unilateral work. You will be ready to play anytime!
They improve your athletic performance. Unilateral exercises affect your ability to accelerate and decelerate, so every time you are involved in a competitive sport, you are much less likely to get injured
Here are my top 5 favorite unilateral exercises along with some tips:
1. PISTOL SQUAT
It's the beauty queen of lower body single leg work. Start holding on to a partner, a high pulley set to enough resistance to pull you back up,or a thick resistance band. Work your way to negatives and full pistol squats. Adding weight to the exercise is tricky, using a plate to hold in front of your chest is the best you can do. Kettlebells are also an option. If you lack flexibility, you can do airborne lunges instead.
2. SINGLE LEG ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
You can keep your rear leg on a bench or just bent behind you. Make sure your pelvis stays straight and does not rotate during the movement.
3. REVERSE LUNGE
You can load a bar on your back or perform like you would a front squat.
4. BULGARIAN DEADLIFT
The pride and joy of all Bulgarian gyms. Just kidding, no one's even heard of it. Place your barbell in front of a bench and prop the rear leg behind, as in a Bulgarian squat.
5. LATERAL LUNGE
It will break you if you do it right. Take a step to the side and sit back, loading your glutes and hamstrings. Make sure you use your glutes to squat and push back out to starting position.
Try to include at least two of them each time you plan a new workout cycle! Let me know how you feel!