Moving Well


Using just one workout tool at a time may seem counterproductive to achieving the gains you want, but you’ll actually get there faster

01 Dec 2021
Less is more when it comes to training using just one exercise tool, whether it’s a dumbbell, Kettlebell, or plate.

Improve Core Stabilisation

When performing a push or pull move using a single tool, the core needs to be engaged in order to keep the body in good form (for example, not rotating the trunk unnecessarily). Basically, there is an imbalance of load on the body, whichactivates the core muscles in order to keep you balanced and stable. So even when you’re not focusing on the core, you’d inevitably be giving those muscles a good workout too.

Train Unused Muscles

You lift a dumbbell with one arm to build strength in those biceps. Did you know that the other arm will enjoy the same effects? This is known as cross-education, in which the unused side of the body gains strength without being trained directly. The key is to use a high load and low repetitions, which encourages higher muscle contractions that activate the resting limb.

Identify And Eliminate Imbalances

The body naturally operates on an auto pilot mode; where there is an imbalance, it will activate what’s necessary to compensate. For example, if one of your legs is stronger than the other and you train both of them at the same time, the body will naturally shift more weight to the dominant leg. When you use just one tool and focus on one limb at a time, each gets trained independently and lets you observe and identify any imbalances.

Increase Range Of Movement

Single tool training lets you sharpen the focus on your muscles. That enables you to activate more muscles and strengthen each of them. The happy consequences of that you will find that your body is more flexible and you enjoy a wider range of motion.

Motor Skills Development

By isolating one side of the body at a time when doing single-tool training, it helps the brain develop motor engrams – movement patterns that give the motor skills a boost. That’s a valuable gain, as we employ motor skills for just about every type of movement from buttoning a shirt to brushing your teeth, driving a vehicle to lifting weights at the gym.

To reap these benefits, speak to your trainer about incorporating single tool training into your workout. Goblet Squat, Single Arm Arnold Press, Plate Ground-to-Overhead, and Renegade Rows are all good examples of exercise moves that utilise just one tool.

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