When it comes to training, progressive overload is the key to getting stronger, fitter and jacked. Generally, this means you want to add weight, reps, or both to your exercises over time. If you lift 100lbs today and 105lbs next week or lift 100lbs for 8 reps this week and 100lbs for 10 reps next week, obviously you’ve gotten stronger.
However, progressive overload won’t always look this linear. Or you might be a person that doesn’t really care if you’ll ever squat more than twice their bodyweight. One way to keep progressively overloading an exercise is to simply perform more difficult variations of the same exercise, ensuring your body works as a unit and helping your body to utilize power from the core (as it should).
One great to do this is while simultaneously dding more emphasis to the core is by using offset/1 hand positions when performing exercises. These variations can be used with just about every exercise imaginable. For instance, probably the most common version of a lunge is holding 2 dumbbells at your sides. But what about holding 1 dumbbell at your side? Now your core will have to turn on a bit more to maintain your balance and keep you from falling down. If you regularly use 25lbs when doing walking lunges, try using just one 30lb-40lb dumbbell. You’ll be using less weight but your body will have to work that much harder to stabilize you.
Another example would be a 1 arm bench press; if you normally use 2 dumbbells or a barbell, using one arm means your core will have to activate more to keep you from falling off the bench. Make this even more difficult by lifting your feet off of the floor.
Again, you’re using much less weight than you normally could, especially if you typically use a barbell. However progressing and getting better doesn’t only mean lifting more weight, it also means moving more efficiently, teaching your body to move more synergistically and becoming stronger as a whole unit rather than in just one motion.
You are not going to get huge and jacked if you’re training consists solely of offset split squats and 1 arm bench presses. However, training like this can help prevent injuries and will greatly assist you on your fitness journey, no matter what your goal is.
Here are 2 different positions to try with leg exercises
Try these with lunges, squats, split squats and see how much harder you have to work just by shifting the weight to one side.