Conventional Wisdom is Wrong

If you're training one arm or one leg at a time (or even doing something like a one-arm bench press or row) it's easy to spot strength differences between sides. One of the benefits of unilateral training is that it helps even out imbalances between limbs. But what's the best way to do that?

Conventional wisdom says to train the weaker limb first to avoid exacerbating the imbalance, and then match that number of reps with the strong limb. While it may help create balance, it's selling the strong limb short since you aren't working it to its capacity. The weak side may catch up, but the strong side stagnates.

A Better Way

Do the strong limb first and then force yourself to match it on the weak side.

You obviously won't be able to do it all in one continuous set, so do as many as you can with good form, pause for 10 seconds and take a few deep breaths, then continue on until you match the reps you got on the strong side – plus an extra 1-2 for good measure.

Example

  • Right side:  10 reps
  • Left side:  7 reps, pause for 10 seconds, 4 reps

This provides the best of both worlds because you can even out imbalances while continuing to get the strong limb even stronger.

Related:  The 10 Best Unilateral Exercises

Related:  Benefits of Single Leg Training