Let’s face it – Nobody wants to be injured.
So what if I told you that there was a simple way to reduce your chances of getting injured? Well there is and it’s simple. Train 1 Leg or 1 Arm at a time. Sounds too easy right? Let me explain…..
Injuries can occur for a variety of reasons – failing to include a proper warm up and stretch into you routine, pushing a load past your limits or overtraining are just a few. One source of injury that is often overlooked is from muscular imbalances in the body. Continued stress to the body (your workouts) will cause your muscles to adapt to the workload and over time imbalances will occur, especially with a consistent workout program. With this, a plateau in progress is not uncommon or even worse an injury can occur. Incorporating a multitude of unilateral (single side) dumbbell or kettle bell movements can help reduce the onset of injury by correcting the imbalances that occur in our bodies after following a rigid training routine.
On a personal note, I had struggled with chronic pain in one knee that lasted close to 6 months. This pain may have been a form of Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) and was likely a result from a muscular imbalance in my legs. This imbalance was the result of following the same squatting patterns for a period time without implementing much variation. Following some homework I began a unilateral strength program that involved balance work and the consistent use of single-leg dumbbell and kettle bell movements. Additionally, I implemented a strict mobility program targeting the troublesome areas and after a short time the pain was gone and has yet to return.
To this day, I make every effort to commit to such a program that will target the smaller, stabilizing muscles that are the most susceptible to injury but tend to get overlooked. I have included a list of the movements that I used in my training routine that I feel made the greatest impact for reducing the chance of injury.
– Single Arm Clean and Press (DB or KB)
– Single Leg RDL or Good mornings (PVC pipe)
– RFE Squats (DB)
– Single Leg Squat
– Walking Lunge (Single KB)
– Backward Sled Pull
I have included the following article, which goes into more detail:
Dan Perry NSCA-CPT
OB Training and Sports Performance