My personal opinion, (I am a certified PT and KB instructor etc), is that static machines are fine for people who are new to gyms, and unable to safely use free weights, or have an injury/condition that makes free weight or BW exercises impossible OR using isolationist machines when it is for rehab or there is an obvious asymmetry (maybe something like a 30% difference between leg strength for 1RM etc).
Originally Posted by Leida
For some minor wobbling due to some minor asymmetries, I really can't see the point in isolating the muscles, after all, you are never going to use them that way.
What I do for clients like that, and also myself, is carry on at the same, or a slightly reduced weight with the free weights if you like them, and introduce some bodyweight exercises, particularly using the TRX or some other suspension trainer to start to iron out some of those minor issues and bring some stabilising muscles into play (you won't get that on machines!!!). One legged squats with a pole or TRX for assistance will work wonders, then do them on the BOSU ball to add even more instability after a while. Shut your eyes, that'll mix things up too.
Also, as you mention, side lunges with KB, but tactical lunges to front and rear with your feet either hips width apart or in a single line stance will work well. Racked squats to rear lunge are good too.
Hope this helps.
I am sure your PT is good, but a lot of them are keen to head to the machines as a first step, rather than looking at the lack of functional movement that these machines offer. Better to mimic real life foundational movements. IMHO
Last edited by PureFunctionalFitness; 09-23-2012 at 01:22 PM.
You know, I totally agree with what you are saying. Actually, asymmetry makes perfect sense, as I know that one side is always leading me on the squat, and I have the same one side leading on the OHP, lifting left before the right once weight gets heavy & all the one-sided lifts are notably stronger on the right than on the left. I always match sides, but should I perhaps train the weaker side more or use one-sided training on the left specifically?
I will ask him about TRX one-legged for the stabilizers - I did them before. I am wondering if he wants me to try the machine because I emphasized that I am clumsy. At any rate, it won't hurt to try for a month, and if it does nothing for the wobble... just drop them.
As I mentioned, doing machines is really fine for really serious differences between left and right, but the relatively small difference that you seem to have would appear to warrant a more total body rather than isolating approach IMHO.
If you want to use the one legged squats, or indeed any other 'single limb' movement as a way to allow it to catch up with the other side is to just do a another set or similar on the weak side. So you could start with 3 sets of 10 reps per leg, start on the weak one and then make sure the weak one gets an additional set at the end. If it feels ok, add another set in a week or so to the bad leg so you end up doing something like 1/3 more on that weaker side.
If your gym has a BOSU balance ball, jumping onto and off in a squat type position can help with stability too, or partial squats with jumps on the BOSU.
My personal preference is to do real world functional movements and work to iron out the asymmetries, it takes a while but your body will be more useful for it.
Last edited by PureFunctionalFitness; 09-25-2012 at 08:36 AM.
Thank you, I will implement your schedule for all my one-sided work to get the left up to speed.
We have BOSUs (I am very lucky - my jim has practically everything you could possibly wish for and in numerous sets), but I am not sure I am ready for it. I will give it a try, but I am afraid it will add to the comic relief!
May come off as kinda random.... and I don't know what you normally wear..... but you doing squats barefoot or in minimalist shoes? From not too long ago when I had no idea what I was doing to now where I know not all that much more, dumping the sneakers made a big difference in my stability under the bar.
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