Bilateral Exercise- Rise from the Grave


The current debate of using single leg exercises or in this case, 1.5 leg exercises, is nothing new. The real question is where are the freaks? Nowhere. Perhaps the argument is that it’s the same results with less spinal load? Specifically the loading is asymmetrical so if one has a spine issue does one need to load less grossly but more unevenness? Isn’t that a progression to make things more challenging? Do we need to challenge the back more if it’s injured? If the BLD (bilateral deficit) is so powerful, wouldn’t the load of two legs challenge the body more since it’s not taking advantage of a natural bonus? Where are the bilateral deficit in the Bench and Pull-ups? I mentioned it before but the silence is very deafening. Currently some interesting training on the CNS and motor unit recruitment is going on. Since the brain is the target organ (guru talk sorry), why use less motor units? A lot to think about.

I think Mike Boyle made a very important and valid point is that we need to load minimally to get the needed transfer. I said in the Bear Droppings thread about max strength is that sometimes the law of diminishing returns does creep up at high levels, but we need to look at power to weight ratios and trends with different sports and body types before stopping athletes from doing what I would consider intermediate loading. We are now too afraid to challenge athletes and making athletes injury prone from fear of causing injury.

After watching one tennis athlete do bulgarian jump split squats (with no load of course) and the coach wondering why the vertical didn’t increase, it made me really question the logic and wisdom of new breed of professionals. My belief is that we are trying to multitask to much, and need to focus more instead of thinking efficient use of time or training economy. We need to start looking at performance testing a lot more than screening because at the end of the day when you are on the field and healthy, you need to perform.

Since all of the single leg experts claim that the BLD is so powerful, let’s see 400 pounds ATG with all of the 225 split squat athletes? With all of the corrective exercise knowledge, super core training programs,DNS expertise, mobility programs, foam rolling protocols, and expert coaching we should see a fleet of these athletes. While a 400 ATG performance isn’t everything, surely that would be easy to pull off when we are hearing so much power the single leg training is producing that this would be an easy audit. The lesson is keep doing the basics and include single leg training, but don’t replace the classics.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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