Author: Emma Hill
Our approach to strengthening your body is truly revolutionary. One of the essential parts of Static Incline Training Exercise or SITx is that our exercises are bilateral.
Bilateral means we aren’t doing “reps” or isolating one side of the body at a time . We work each side evenly at the same time while using stabilizing muscles to enhance our ability to strengthen the body.
The main reason we utilize bilateral exercises is that it is vital to use natural movements with your body. Split functions of the human body or unilateral type movements, take up additional time, and can put you at a higher risk of injury. Overall, we get more by doing less and we create a greater effect on the body by working the largest muscles that make up areas a traditional “split” may or may not address.
The only time we should use unilateral exercises is when there is a complete gross disparity of strength from one side or the other (your left arm vs your right arm) and even then most clients will see more muscle growth, and a higher level of physical ability through bilateral exercises.
Say Goodbye to Splits in Your Training–such as Leg Day (working just your lower body) with RyseUP Rehab
As for exercises that attempt to isolate and target one area or side of the body, for example, leg day, or arm day, or lifting dumbbells one side at a time, that’s not what is going to help you to feel your best, or reach your full body potential.
We also want to tell you a secret: Exercises that say they target or isolate a muscle group are *fake news*. They don’t actually exist. No matter how hard you try to focus on ONLY one area of your body, you will be working several different muscle groups as you perform different motions.
Exercises that “target” your arms or just your legs will also work the abdominals. Those that “target” the glutes or pectorals will also work the abdominals and your back. The closest exercise that we know of that comes “close” to an isolation is a Leg Extension–but even if you were to strap down your femurs you still have the abdominal muscles engage–so much for that.
Another common idea that is really not accurate, is that unilateral movements have a greater impact on our skeletal muscles being worked. But when you follow the definition that we use for Exercise, Exercise is difficult enough without adding the need to focus on bringing separate arms and two separate legs to MMF. That means doing twice as many exercises as really needed, which ultimately is not efficient, and is therefore not true Exercise.
Along the same line but a different vector is the idea we need to have unilateral work to have a greater impact on the skeletal muscles being worked. This is another myth and actually Exercise (when performed correctly) already is difficult enough without adding the need to focus on two separate arms or legs.
The other risk we run with unilateral movements is the imposed risk we bring to our spinal column when there is uneven load that occurs when we shift or alternate between our limbs. Swaying usually results in the shoulder from alternating movements and then pivoting at the pelvis–this leads to increases of possible injury and additional pain.
It takes extreme internal muscular control to stabilize yourself in machines and when you are lifting. If you are swaying or misaligned it will lead to severe muscular spasm.
Ultimately the purpose of Exercise is to strengthen your body, and increase your physical abilities. We are looking to prevent injury and deal with chronic pain not cause more, or to put you in a cycle of perpetual injury.
Work Your Whole Body for Optimal Results & Effective Sessions
At RyseUP Rehab we want you to get optimal results, which is why we work the body together as a unit as a whole rather than separate pieces. We work as much of the body as possible in a session. We do have specific exercises that work specific areas, but they are done with full knowledge of how each one will influence your bodies muscles, joints, and ligament groups. Bilateral exercises allow us to work each side of our body’s anatomical muscular structures evenly, and in turn, work to improve body position, alignment, and posture.
Unilateral, or one-sided split functions of the body are sometimes recommended to correct weakness on one side of the body. This is only appropriate in rare cases of extreme strength disparities, and even then they should still be used minimally. Bilateral exercises will help you to strengthen weak muscles in a natural way by providing the weaker side a greater opportunity when paired with the stronger limb.
Bilateral Exercises Gives You the Full Ability to Strengthen Your Body
While unilateral exercises can correct a strength disparity, bilateral exercises will give your weak side the greatest potential for momentary muscular failure (MMF). (MMF is the purpose of doing the exercise to begin with.)
Unilateral exercises often give the greater benefit to your muscles that are already stronger. Bilateral muscles will help you to increase the strength in your weakened muscles while building your overall strength on both sides. Because which side has greater potential to inroad? Your stronger side. Which has greater potential to be strengthened? The weaker. Which side failed? Both.
It is natural for us to use both legs when we walk, to catch ourselves with both arms when we fall, and we use both eyes when we read. Why would you exercise any other way than how your body functions as a whole.
Additionally, when we work bilaterally, it is easier for us to stabilize our body and avoid injury during exercise. Being able to keep the body aligned and stabilized is essential to working the muscles in a natural way that does not lead to locking up your pelvic stabilizers, which can lead to further injury.
Get Your Time Back Because You Workout Less in the Long Run
Because unilateral exercises are not natural for our body, they often require concentration to complete the necessary movements. Unilateral movements are often more complex than is required to effectively work the target musculature. Momentum from dynamic exercises takes away from your ability to inroad (exhaust your muscles totally) deeply and efficiently.
In addition, unilateral work is dangerous due to the risk it imposes on our spine and shoulders. Why do activities that will stunt your ability to recover, and to take care of your body?
With SITx we utilize bilateral exercises so you will be able to focus entirely on getting your muscles to fail. This increased focus will allow you to get so much more out of the time you spend working out.
Instead of doubling up the time for the same muscle group, focus on reaching failure that allows balanced and more effective muscle growth. You can also put everything you’ve got into both sides by working them simultaneously.
SITx Bilateral Exercises Take Your Recovery & Fitness to the Next Level
There are numerous benefits to doing SITx bilateral exercises, but keep these in mind. It will allow your muscles to work synergistically and strengthen the whole body. You can harness the potential you have in your muscles, and while you are strengthening your whole body, you will notice a difference in every part of your life.
After working with our clients, we have observed that there is a pattern.
They report having these additional benefits:
- More energy when they wake up.
- Daily tasks are easier to achieve, because we increase natural body function.
- Increased range of motion.
- Feel the difference and decrease in pain over a few sessions.
You can enjoy these benefits and much more–when you use real Exercise taught by a RyseUP Rehab Specialists.
Experience not just the burn of a good workout, but avoid all the risks of injury–that come with traditional activities and fitness regimens.
We have worked with many patients and clients who have a story similar to myself.
I, personally, had so many doctors give me a list of exercises and tell me to come back in six weeks. I did them every day, but my back pain just wouldn’t go away. I couldn’t sit up straight anymore, even though prior to my accident I had been in the Symphonic band at my university where that had been a necessity. I tossed and turned all night long, even after buying a new mattress specifically to help with my injuries.
Within two weeks of my first session at Ryse FitnessUP Rehabits. That was after years of trying physical therapy, massage, pilates, steroid injections, nerve ablations, and so on. I’m so glad I made the choice to try what RyseUP Rehab was offering. It helped me to get control of my pain so that my body could actually accept the other treatment I was receiving.
If you are looking for a better way to address your chronic pain, past injuries, and increase your physical abilities, then we have treatment and exercise options for you.
If you were injured in a car accident learn more about your options here >
If you are looking to address chronic pain, or reach new fitness levels learn more here >
To book your first session you can start here or contact us at 801-449-0253.
Emma is currently a student studying editing and publishing with a minor in creative writing. She joined the team at RyseUP Rehab after participating in the program herself to treat injuries she received in a car accident. The exercises made a big difference in her life and have helped her to live the active life she wants to with less pain. Emma enjoys rock climbing, running, and spending time with her family.