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Author Topic: Exercises for asymmetric leg strength?  (Read 2067 times)

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Offline sampaguita

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Exercises for asymmetric leg strength?
« on: January 25, 2012, 09:30:29 AM »
My left leg is stronger than my right leg. During CW backward crossovers, my head keeps bobbing up and down. My left foot has a deep knee bend, but when I do the underpush, and let my left foot lift the ice, the right foot straightens prematurely. I know I need to work on my core, but I definitely need to work on the right leg too.

My problem is, the only exercises I know that can strengthen the legs for this purpose is bilateral, so both legs are strengthened. Are there are any exercises that I can do that are (a) kind on the knees and (b) does not strain the back in any way? Thanks!

Offline Skittl1321

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Re: Exercises for asymmetric leg strength?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 09:47:20 AM »
My PT has me do a lot of one legged balance exercises, and one foot squats.  If you need knee friendly (I do) you can use an exercise ball against the wall to support some of your weight with the squats.

I also do a lot of bilateral leg exercises, but focusing on proper technique that distributes the weight evenly over the legs.  Right now, when I do squats about 80% of my weight is distributed on the right leg.  We are working on making it 50/50, which will strengthen the left leg.  It may seem like you are only making the stronger leg stronger, but if you use proper technique you are working with the weak leg too.  I also do a lot of time on the elliptical, which requires even distribution of weight.   


I would recommend seeing a PT if you can.  They will be able to diagnose your specific imbalance and help you correct it. 

Offline SK8N

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Re: Exercises for asymmetric leg strength?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 02:18:37 PM »
I have the same issue, and it's finally starting to even out. 

I agree with Skittl321 on the bilateral exercises.  Just make sure you are not favoring your stronger leg when doing them.  You should start to feel it in your weaker leg before you ever feel it in the stronger leg.  When I started, my weaker leg would give out before I ever even felt it in my stronger leg. 

If you do single leg exercises, you should still do both legs, but always start with the weaker leg.  Make sure you only do the same amount with the same weight that you did on the weaker side.  For example, you can do 10 lunges with 10 lb weights on your weaker side, only do 10 lunges with 10 lb weights on your stronger side even though you could probably do more.  Since many leg exercises work several different muscles, this will also help balance out muscle imbalances in your stronger leg.  Plus, it will be easier to tell when your weaker leg starts to catch up with your stronger leg  :)

I do exercises like squats, step ups, and lunges.  I guess the "easy on the knees" exercises depend on the reason for the bad knees too.  My bad knees are mostly due to muscle imbalances so these exercises are good for me even though they may hurt.  I just couldn't bend as much when I first started.  It was the up/down motion that hurt the most, so I would often just bend into a squat or lunge position and hold it for a certain count.  My knees have strengthened considerably since and I can do normal squats and lunges without pain.

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: Exercises for asymmetric leg strength?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 08:27:52 PM »
My problem is, the only exercises I know that can strengthen the legs for this purpose is bilateral, so both legs are strengthened.

I agree that it is not a problem.  I think that if you do exercises on only the weak side, you will end up out of balance in additional ways.

Offline sampaguita

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Re: Exercises for asymmetric leg strength?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 08:50:21 AM »
Thanks for all your suggestions!

I tried doing bilateral exercises the other day, but putting more weight on the weaker foot. Is that better than doing 50-50? Or is 50-50 still advisable?

Offline Skittl1321

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Re: Exercises for asymmetric leg strength?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2012, 09:05:24 AM »
I think you want 50-50.  You want good form in bilateral exercise.  Trying to put more weight on the other foot could create a weird imbalance somewhere else, like the hip. 

Offline sampaguita

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Re: Exercises for asymmetric leg strength?
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 04:26:04 AM »
Thanks Skittl!