Unilateral Exercise Improves Endurance On Both Sides
The following are some of the benefits of bilateral exercise:
1) Improved balance.
Balance improves your ability to perform other activities such as climbing stairs or driving a car.
2) Increased endurance.
Bilateral exercises improve your endurance because they increase blood flow to muscles which helps them work longer than single muscle groups do.
3) Increased power.
Bilateral exercises improve your power because they involve two opposing muscle groups working together.
4) Decreased risk of injury.
When you use both arms at the same time, there is less chance of injuring yourself due to overuse injuries like strains and sprains.
5) More efficient use of energy.
Bilateral exercises require less energy since you’re using two opposing muscle groups instead of just one. This means that you’ll burn more calories while performing these exercises.
6) Better coordination.
Because your body uses both sides of your brain, it’s easier to coordinate all your senses when doing bilateral exercises than when only using one side of your brain (such as when lifting weights).
7) Greater flexibility and range of motion.
Some people find it difficult to lift their arm over their head. When you perform a bilateral exercise such as a row, you lift the weight with your arm in line with your neck (known as the “horizontal axis”). This helps increase flexibility in your shoulder joint.
The following are some of the benefits of unilateral exercises:
1) Strength increases while maintaining endurance.
Unilateral exercises also lead to an increase in strength and power. While your endurance may not improve as much as it would with bilateral exercises, your strength and power will increase.
2) Targeted muscle growth.
Unilateral exercises are great for targeting specific muscle groups and focusing on their development.
3) Improved posture.
Unilateral exercises can help you correct common muscular imbalances (such as one shoulder being lower than the other). This is good for addressing posture concerns.
4) Better coordination between both sides of the brain.
Unilateral exercises require more coordination between your two sides of your brain than bilateral exercises do. This is beneficial because it means that you’re training your brain as well as your muscles. Training affects your nervous system as well as your muscular system.
5) More efficient energy burn.
Unilateral exercises burn more calories than bilateral exercises do.
6) Improved mental focus.
Unilateral exercises are good for improving mental focus and self-discipline.
7) Enhanced self esteem.
Unilateral exercises can be a challenge. When you expand your strength, you’ll have evidence of your success. This can help improve your self-confidence and self-esteem.
8) More time efficiency.
Unilateral exercises are often more efficient than bilateral exercises. You can perform more reps in the same amount of time. This means you can spend less time at the gym and more time working on other aspects of your life.
Which are Better?
So are bilateral or unilateral exercises better?
The answer is that it depends on your goals. Bilateral exercises are generally better for building endurance, while unilateral exercises are better for building strength, power and correcting muscular imbalances. If you want to build endurance or perform a certain exercise, then perform a bilateral exercise. If you want greater strength, power or flexibility, then perform a unilateral exercise.
How to Incorporate Bilateral and Unilateral Exercises
When you’re first starting out, you should try to include both types of exercises in your routines. Which exercises you decide to use and how many of each is up to you. If you’re more experienced, you may find that one type of exercise suits your goals better than the other.
A good rule of thumb for beginners is to do half bilateral and half unilateral exercises.
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Muscle training by static, concentric and eccentric contractions by FB Petersen – Acta physiologica scandinavica, 1960 – Wiley Online Library
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