Skating left all the damn time is, no surprise, going to cause muscle imbalances in your body and also make you much better at doing derby skills with one leg or in one direction than the other.
Most people’s plow stops are better on their right foot and most people find transitioning to the left (towards the inside of the track) easier, this is down to the physics of the flat track and always turning left. But the bad news is, we need to be able to transition both ways and plow stop with both feet! So brainy opposition skaters can take advantage of your weakness (boo!).
You might have also noticed your left leg has grown slightly larger than your right… and you might have tighter glutes on one side compared to the other… plus a whole host of uneven bits! Having unbalanced muscles – strong on one side, tight on the other etc – can be a recipe for injury.
But it’s ok, we can fix all of this by: skating in the “wrong” direction & practicing on our “bad” side lots and lots and lots. AND by introducing unilateral exercises into our workouts!
Unitlateral exercises are great because:
- They build symmetrical and strength because your dominant side can’t take over
- They help identify weak spots because the feeble body part can’t rely on the strong one to do the work
- They build awesome core strength because your bod has to work extra hard to stabilise itself
- They improve your balance and proprioception (knowing where you are and your body parts are: mind-body connection)
- They are also great for returning to training from injury and your injured body part has shrivelled up into a limp noodle!
Dynamic Warm Up
As single-limb exercise can put a great deal of stress on your muscles and joints, it’s really important to warm up properly and mobilise your body before doing them. Stretching when your muscles are cold is not a good idea – stretching before a workout can actually increase your risk of injury and limit the amount of strength you have to perform the moves!
A dynamic warm up involves moving all of your body in a way that is similar to how it will be used in your workout and to raise your body temperature and heart rate to get the bloody pumping to your muscles.
You could give this dynamic warm up a try.
If you’re lifting weights, perform a set with light weights before ripping into your workout!
How To Do This Workout
The strength portion of this workout is designed for using weights – dumbells, a kettle bell or barbell – but if you don’t have weights, many of the lower body exercises are still great with bodyweight. For the upper body moves, improvise a weight with a skate or anything that’s heavy enough to give you a challenge and easy enough to hold.
Perform 10 reps of each exercise on each side (left & right) before moving on to the next exercise and repeat 2-4 times through. For the plyo moves, perform the move 30-60 secs on each side before moving onto the next & repeat 2-4 times.
Always keep your core engaged, a straight/neurtral spine and knees soft and never let your knees cave in.
For deadlifts, remember to hinge at the hips and push your bum back and for squats, remember to bend your knees, keep your chest up and drop your ass low (as low as you can!).
- Single Leg Deadlifts
- Single Shoulder Press
- Bulgarian Split Squat
- Single Arm Row
- Single Leg/Chair Squat
- Single Arm Chest Press
- Walking Lunges
- Side Plank & Rotate
- Single Leg Glute Bridge
- Single Leg Lateral Hops
- Skater Jumps + Hop (when you land, hop on one leg before jumping the other way)
- Single Leg Box Jump (start with a very low box/step!)
Unilateral moves are great for balancing your strength but stretching is important too, to lengthen unevenly tight bits and to cool down after your workout.
- Hip Flexor Stretch
- Hamstring Stretch
- Frog Stretch
- Pigeon Pose Glute Stretch
- Child’s Pose Back & Shoulders Stretch
- Seated Glute Stretch
- Calf Stretches
- Chest stretch
- Shoulder Stretches
Have a bash or add these into your routine to see if it helps create a better balanced bod!
Treble Maker 909 xx
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