Unilateral Movements and Why They’re Important

In our workouts, we generally do bilateral movements or movements that use both sides, arms, and legs such as squats or rows. It’s great since we’re working both sides and allowing symmetry, but it’s important to work unilateral movements as well. Unilateral movements are single side, arm, or leg movements.
It’s important to incorporate unilateral movements to help create more balance and stability and build strength in that side or limb that may be slightly weaker. We’re not going to be completely symmetrical and may have imbalances. Training unilateral movements can help improve these imbalances.

To incorporate unilateral movements into your workouts, I suggest working bilateral movements first and then unilateral movements after. For example, if I was working legs, I would do front squats and then some pistol squats or single leg deadlifts after. You can start light or with body weight to get used to the exercise. I love these movements for improving balance!

Some unilateral exercises to include on your next workout:

  • Single Leg Deadlift
  • Single Leg Squat (Pistol Squat)
  • Reverse Lunges
  • Single Arm Row
  • Single Arm Chest Press
  • Single Arm Lat Pulldown
  • Side Plank
  • Suitcase Carry


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