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Unilateral Weakness, Subjective vs Objective Goals?


Due to a sciatic injury several years ago I have residual weakness of my left leg (hamstrings worse than quads). I don't do a lot of single leg exercises, but when I do, I notice I can generally complete 2-4 less reps with the left leg when using equal weights for each leg. If my goal is 10-12 reps should I use the left leg as a guide and use a similar weight for the right even though I could use more, or focus more on subjective intensity and use unequal weights for each leg? Thanks.



That’s what I would do. Start with the weaker side, match with the stronger side, and make sure you’re actually improving over time.

Personally, I take the approach of doing something that uses both sides first, then switch to unilateral work. E.g., squatting, then doing single leg work.


I disagree with LoRez on this one.

Do strong side first. Then make sure you match that number with weak side using rest-pause if necessary.

Then you’re bringing the weak side up to strong side’s level and not understimulating strong side.


Interesting. I guess with my approach, the stronger side gets worked more with the full movement, and then the weaker side gets worked a bit more with the unilateral work. It’s probably because of the combination of the two, rather than just unilateral work.

Either way, both approaches are based on matching reps side to side with the same weight, rather than subjective intensity.