Monday, July 29, 2013

Unilateral Upper Body Workout

As you might guess, I'm still on a break from working out while my weird tight muscles recover and loosen up. But Terry has still been hitting the gym, which makes me so happy. I think I do a good job of not pushing him to exercise, but of course I'm always glad when he does. While I'm resting, I thought he might skip the gym, but he's been rather disciplined, even waking up early to work out before work some days!

And I still love creating workouts, so here was Terry's upper body circuit today:

The idea of a unilateral workout is that you are challenging your muscles in an unfamiliar way. By forcing each body part to work independently and without its opposite side, you engage your core and don't allow one side to make up for the other side's weaknesses or imbalances. If you notice that one side is stronger than the other (usually the case, because most of us use one side more naturally than the other), a unilateral workout can help. Unilateral ("one side") workouts are also extremely functional because so much of what we do on a daily basis is one-sided: pulling open a door, lifting a suitcase or even a purse, holding a baby.

Some notes about these exercises: Remember to complete all reps on one side before moving to the next side. Note: Choose a moderate/moderate-heavy weight, but go easy on yourself--unilateral exercises often require a lighter weight than you might think!

Front Shoulder Raise

Upright Row

Lateral Shoulder Raise

Bent-Over Wide Row

Dumbbell Chest Press

Dumbbell Pullover

Side Crunch

Dumbbell Side Bend

Let me know what you think!