Home » I added this one strength training technique into my weekly workouts and it helped me build strength faster than I ever have before

I added this one strength training technique into my weekly workouts and it helped me build strength faster than I ever have before

by UNN Feed

Here at Fit&Well, we give you all the fitness information you need to stand on your own two feet in the gym. But not this time. 

Instead, I want to share the benefits of single-leg movements and other unilateral exercises—moves that target one side of your body at a time. 

For the last five weeks, I’ve been incorporating more of these moves into my training with the goal of building more strength and muscle. And I’ve already noticed week-on-week increases in the weights I’m able to lift. 

Want proof? I’ve noticed my barbell back squat numbers creeping in the right direction; I started by lifting five sets of five reps at 220lb/100kg, and most recently hit four sets of four reps at 115kg/250lb. 

That’s one of several reasons why I think this strength training technique deserves a spot in your exercise plans. 

How I added unilateral exercises into my schedule

I’m a big fan of unilateral exercises but that doesn’t mean every exercise I do is unilateral. I like to use them alongside bilateral moves as part of a well-rounded workout. For example, my leg sessions kick off with barbell back squats, followed by unilateral moves like the lateral lunge and curtsy squat to hit smaller supporting muscles. 

The main unilateral moves I’ve been interspersing into my training plans are the:

  • Bulgarian split squat
  • Dumbbell step-up
  • Single-leg Romanian deadlift
  • Single-leg dumbbell hip thrust
  • Seesaw dumbbell bench press
  • Single-arm dumbbell overhead press
  • Single-arm bent-over row

What are the benefits of unilateral exercises?

1. Building functional strength

Most of the best-known exercises are bilateral, loading both the left and right sides of the body equally. For example, during squats and deadlifts your right and left legs should be working just as hard as each other. 

But we rarely move that way in everyday life. Instead, whether we’re running, walking or just grabbing…

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