Why do I incorporate one legged and one arm training into my clients’ programmes?
Because we are all wonky! Yup all of us! Some us more than others, and I put myself in the more than category. With scoliosis and one leg longer than the other, I still battle with a lazy left glute that needs a constant kick up the bum.
If, for example, you executed a bodyweight squat, it might look (and feel) all fine and dandy, however, if you then completed a one legged squat, one leg would undoubtedly feel stronger and more balanced than the other. Training in a unilateral fashion like this, leaves the weaker leg nowhere to hide and with good mind-muscle connection, the often lazy glute can become engaged and part of the party, so to speak. Overall, this will make your two-legged squat stronger and more balanced, resulting in less possibility to end up with an injury.
Upper body is the same; a double-armed bench press with a bar will feel very different to completing the same move with dumbbells.
So what can you do at home or in the gym to help even out imbalances? Try these three exercises leg exercises in your regular workout, and you will really kick that (lazy) butt:
One Legged Squat to a Bench
With a chair or bench behind you, stand on one leg, get your balance, squeeze your core, and push your hips back as if you were going to sit on the bench. Either tap your bum lightly on the bench and then stand back up or, sit down and then push back up to standing on the same leg- touching your other leg lightly on the ground for balance if needed. Repeat 5-8 times on one leg, then repeat on the other. Complete 3 sets. You can also do this exercise with a TRX.
These are just yummy! Essentially they are slow back lunges. Stand balanced on your right leg., squeeze your core tight. Take your left leg back slowly until your foot touches the floor behind you, then touch your knee to the floor and then push back up on your right leg through your heel. The whole movement should take approx 5 seconds. Do 5-8 on each leg. Complete 3 sets. Too hard? Have something stable to hold onto nearby. Too easy- pop a bar on your back or hold dumbbells at your side.
One Leg Step Down
Get a bench or chair close to the wall (for support). Get your balance standing on one leg on the chair, lower yourself slowly down and then push back up pushing your heel into the chair on the standing leg, to activate your glute. When you hit that spot where you don't f
eel you can hold it any longer, just do that; hold it and then lower down. Each step down should take about 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times on each leg. Complete 3 sets.