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One side is bigger and stronger than the other?

This is a common occurrence for anyone who trains, especially if we are a beginner. I see it time and time in the gym where one arm/ leg is stronger than the other. Is this a problem?

In my view, yes this is a problem. Lets take a barbell squat for an example (a bilateral movement). We could potentially be pressing 60% with our good leg and 40% with our other and we would never even know! Hips dropping over to our good side and using our strong leg to push harder with. Over time this will cause a big imbalance and an asymmetry in the body. This will also no doubt lead to one leg progressing much quicker than the other. In addition, an increase in the likelihood of an injury.

So… How do we go about testing and fixing this?

Use single limb movements (unilateral)! Something like a Bulgarian split squat, Split lunge, and a Walking lunge will load each leg individually to help bring the weak one up to the strength of the good one!

The same can be said for any upper body imbalances too. For a dominant pec while benching – use dumbbells. For a dominant bicep while EZ/ straight barbell curling – use dumbbells etc. etc.

Although you get more bang for your buck through most double limb, bilateral movements, there is still a big place to incorporate some single limb, unilateral work into your programme!