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Old 09-03-2013, 03:23 PM   #1
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Default One or two legs?

Not entirely about legs...

A while back, I read a piece which indicated that the kettlebell swing had more impact when done using a single arm; apparently, the glutes fired at over 100% (up to 120%), I believe was suggested by the study) which is rarely seen in most exercise, whereas the same exercise, the KB swing, done with a double-handed grip did not make the glutes engage as forcefully.

The firing of the glutes was tested and recorded, via some sort of machinery or whatever set-up they used for monitoring the resultant force and glute activity; it can be found online, somewhere, for those wanting to research further or just generally double-check the information etc.


Now, in addition to the above, I also read that single-legged deadlifts also appear to make the hamstrings and the entire leg work much harder (up to around 150% max) than a normal (2-legged) deadlift; obviously, the load would be much lighter, for several reasons, one being the balance issue that we would not be used to, at least not immediately.



So, the question is, are we short-changing ourselves, in some way, if we don't incorporate a few 1-legged DLs or 1-arm KB swings into an otherwise bilateral workout? Would it be of benefit to do at least 1 set of minimal DL and/or KB swings in the manner suggested, even at a much lower loading, before moving on to the majority of the workout?


Discuss...


I've decided to give this a go and today's session with single-legged DLs was quite an eye-opener, in how much they targeted the legs with a lower load.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:31 PM   #2
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interesting
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:37 PM   #3
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Interesting topic. I am wondering how this would port to dumbbells, specifically using one vs two at the same time.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:46 PM   #4
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Interesting topic. I am wondering how this would port to dumbbells, specifically using one vs two at the same time.
I went up to a 20kg KB today, placed where the other foot should have been (a wall within reach for fingertip balance should it have been required which it wasn't, so that was good) and it worked well. All I did was 5 reps per side, but it did take a lot of concentration and, of course, they were much slower reps, not to mention SLDLs as well...so, single-legged SLDLs.

I think a dumbbell set-up would work equally well since it's the same sort of size, compact, I mean.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:49 PM   #5
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The one legged DL thing kind of makes sense. If you have both feet on the ground then you have better balance and would be more able to maximize use of every muscle involved, including the posterior chain. Maybe when you eliminate the stability by using just one leg it keeps you from accessing muscles other than just the leg muscles alone.

Or maybe I'm way off base. I don't know, either way I tend to not put this much thought into my exercise selection. I don't really use any single leg movements.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:58 PM   #6
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This book uses bilateral training. Just thought I would mention it for anyone curious about working the entire body this way.


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Old 09-03-2013, 04:01 PM   #7
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The one legged DL thing kind of makes sense. If you have both feet on the ground then you have better balance and would be more able to maximize use of every muscle involved, including the posterior chain. Maybe when you eliminate the stability by using just one leg it keeps you from accessing muscles other than just the leg muscles alone.

Or maybe I'm way off base. I don't know, either way I tend to not put this much thought into my exercise selection. I don't really use any single leg movements.
There's definitely something in that; there was mention of muscles being used as stabilisers when that wasn't their primary role and although it wasn't mentioned in regard to the exercise above, I don't see why it wouldn't also relate in much the same way.

Even just standing on one leg and feeling the hamstring muscles and then standing with both feet in contact with the floor, the difference can be felt in how the muscle reacts and a lot of that would come down to requiring stability with part of the normal stability system having been removed.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:06 PM   #8
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I love the idea of bilateral training, but all the people I see doing single leg movements are weak and should worry a hell of a lot more about squatting more than their bodyweight at some point before they start worrying about bilateral training.

Just another case of putting the cart before the horse.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:21 PM   #9
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I kinda like to do single arm work with dumbbells such as; Curls, Rows and Tricep Ext. I guess I feel my right side (Dominate Side) is a little stronger than my left... So I like to work each side to bring my left side up to par. If that makes sense. Could be a mental thing, but I'm right handed so, I use my right hand to do "more" things.

Another Side note, my left bicep looks a little smaller than the right... I know if I gained more weight and mass things would probably even out. But a couple times I added a extra set for my left arm only...
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