Recently I've noticed something that I would like to ask about here. For the past week, I've been away from home for the vacation, at another house, where I only have only one adjustable dumbbell that goes up to 95 lbs. As a result, I've been forced to train one arm at a time, that is, unilateral lifting, since I have only 1 dumbbell. I noticed that, when lifting unilaterally, I am not as strong as when I lift as you would usually do with two dumbbells. For example, on the dumbbell shoulder press, at the gym and with 2 dumbbells, I can complete 10-11 reps with the 65lbs dumbbells. However, when lifting one arm at a time (unilateral), I can only complete 6-7 reps with each arm using the same exact weight. What could be the reason behind this? I myself believe it is due to the fact that when lifting unilaterally, your core is highly used in order to stabilize your body, thus making the exercise harder.
Any help is apreciated.
Last edited by dsb; 12-25-2009 at 01:21 PM.
I'm starting to think that it's probably normal for a lifter to not be able to lift as much when lifting unilaterally, as he would be able to when lifting normally, because of the difficulty of having to stabilize your body.
yep....... I can push press 225, doubt I could do 1/2 that with one arm.....
i did some unlaterial training when i tore my bicep couple of years ago,just so i could get into the gym. i liked it and still do it from time to time. you can bring up week body parts by doing the unlaterial training,something you maywant to do from time to time.
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First I just want to make clear an exercise is unilateral whenever you use dumbbells or any machine where each arm or leg has its own load and work independently, but there is weight in each limb. When you perfom a movement like one arm DB press without a weight in the other hand it is considered Bilateral.
Bilateral work will always be harder due to the stabilization demand, but its a great tool to help with weak bodypart because of the increased demand placed on the single limb.
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Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this subject David and Acress. It's definitely great to have experienced and knowledgeable lifters like you two share their opinions on the matter.
From what I've read on various sites, the main benefit of this kind of lifting is to bring weaker bodyparts or limbs up to par in terms of strength with the rest of the body, which is exactly what you guys said. Although this type of training does seem effective, I would only do it if I had no other choice, which is my case now as I only have one dumbbell, because it feels pretty awkward to me, and somehow I feel as though you are more likely to get injured training in this manner.