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This month we are exploring movements that are one-sided, or exercises in which limbs move independently of one another. Think single arm presses, split squats, turkish get ups, waiter's walks, pistols, lunges, single leg jumps, etc. There are several reasons to include unilateral work in your training; here are just a few of the benefits:
As described by Lee Boyce of MensFitness.com, "The instability of having dumbbells and not barbells asks for a lot more effort from your joint capsules (i.e. shoulders, elbows, wrists) to steady the load. This capacity simply cannot be exploited to the same degree through typical barbell training. The connective tissue of each joint will be trained to get stronger also, contributing to its overall health...Joint stability aside, unilateral training will also help core strength. In any typical single arm or single leg movement, the body will have the propensity to ‘lean’ or twist in order to accommodate for the load being lifted on only one side. Keeping a straight body (or, making it look as though there’s an even load on each side) means twice as much work for the abdominals." (See more at: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/question-week-unilateral-training#sthash.4NjE1DAD.dpuf.)