Unilateral vs. Asymmetrical Training: Digging in to the Distinctions

Some  coaches argue that Unilateral Training can be seen as a subset of Asymmetrical Training.

Today we’re digging deeper and getting super clear on the key difference between the 2 training protocols …

Consider a single-leg dumbbell Romanian deadlift – it’s unilateral, targeting one hamstring. Add an imbalance by using only one dumbbell, and now it’s asymmetrical, challenging the midline with an unbalanced load.

That right there is the KEY difference between unilateral, which means training 1 side of the body … whereas asymmetrical training is designed to enhance stabilizers across the kinetic chain.

Let’s dive deeper into the 2 …

🏋️‍♀️ Asymmetrical Training:

 Enter the world of asymmetrical training with exercises like a suitcase deadlift or a squat with a sandbag on one shoulder. These workouts elevate spinal stabilizers, ensuring the trunk maintains alignment amidst the challenge. It’s specialized training for often-overlooked muscle groups.

🎯 Focus on Imbalances: Asymmetrical training is all about addressing muscle imbalances by working one side of the body more than the other. It’s like giving extra attention to the weaker links in the chain.

🎯 Everyday Movements Imitation: Think of activities like carrying groceries on one side or swinging a golf club. Asymmetrical exercises mimic these real-world movements, making your clients better prepared for life’s twists and turns.

🎯 Core Activation Overdrive: Engage that core! Asymmetrical training requires your clients’ stabilizing muscles to work extra hard, promoting a sturdy and resilient core – the epicenter of strength.

🏋️Unilateral Training:

Unilateral training excels in improving range of motion and stability around joints. Take a Bulgarian or single-leg squat with two dumbbells on a bench – it not only works on hip flexors and extensors but also demands increased stability from the ankle and knee. Precision is the name of the game.

🎯 Equal Love for Both Sides: Unilateral training, on the other hand (literally!), focuses on working one side of the body at a time, ensuring balanced development. It’s like a spotlight on each side to create a harmonious physique.

🎯 Precision and Coordination Boost: Precision matters! Unilateral exercises enhance coordination and balance, crucial for athletes or anyone striving for agility in their movements. It’s the secret sauce for finesse.

🎯 Joint-Friendly Approach: Have clients with joint concerns? Unilateral exercises are gentle on the joints while still delivering a killer workout. Perfect for those seeking a joint-friendly fitness regimen without compromising intensity.

Summing up the key differences:

🔍 Asymmetrical targets imbalances, mimics real-life scenarios, and cranks up core engagement. Unilateral ensures equal growth, enhances precision, and provides a joint-friendly option.

💡 The Takeaway: Unilateral and asymmetrical, though closely related, have distinct roles. Whether refining range of motion or giving spinal stabilizers a targeted workout, both techniques bring nuanced layers to your coaching toolbox.

Got more to add to this list?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the differences and benefits of unilateral vs asymmetrical training.  Comment below … 💪💬 

🚀 Ready for the Next Level?: If you’re looking for workout content that is already built using a variety of fitness protocols in perfect harmony to help your clients get results – then check out WhiteLabelWorkouts.com.  Here, every exercise and program is built to not only help get your client’s to their fitness goals, but to also help YOU get to your business goals!  Let’s collaborate and do it, together.

Xoxo ~ Ro ~ Your Online Fitness Specialist