Unilateral Versus Bilateral Exercise and the Role of the Bilateral Force Deficit

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Abstract

EXERCISE SELECTION IS A MAJOR DETERMINANT OF TRAINING ADAPTATIONS. FOR EXAMPLE, SQUATTING WITH BOTH LEGS (BILATERAL [BIL]) PRODUCES DIFFERENT RESULTS THAN SQUATTING WITH 1 LEG (UNILATERAL [UNI]). SOME SUGGEST THAT UNI EXERCISES ARE SUPERIOR BECAUSE OF THE BILATERAL FORCE DEFICIT (BLFD): AN OCCURRENCE WHERE THE SUMMATION OF FORCE FOR 2 UNI EXERCISES IS GREATER THAN THE FORCE OF A SINGLE BIL EXERCISE. HOWEVER, OTHERS QUESTION THE RELEVANCE OF SUCH A PHENOMENON. THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO BRIEFLY REVIEW THE BLFD AND COMPARE BIL AND UNI EXERCISE TRAINING SO THAT PRACTITIONERS CAN MAKE THE MOST INFORMED CHOICE WHEN DETERMINING EXERCISE SELECTION.

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