Even Strength


Here at M&P, we are big advocates of using barbells and dumbbells because it’s important to work your right and left sides together and separately. That said, a rather technical study published in the March 2011 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reveals that “side dominance” is not something to stress over. Ten experienced male volunteers performed back squats while scientists measured ground reaction forces from both feet and power outputs from both ends of the bar. Interestingly, while the difference in ground reaction forces between the two sides reached as high as 21 percent, the actual power outputs on either end of the bar never differed by more than 3.4 percent. In other words, your right or left leg is not suddenly going to dwarf its counterpart if you spend too much time with a barbell. We still advocate single-leg squats and other exercises, though. After all, variety is the spice of life — and fitness.