Back in December, I wrote about trying to deal with left-right leg imbalance. (which has often been cause of annual knee problems) On a leg press, the maximum weight I could push was:
- left leg 56 kg. Right leg 64 kg.
Because of this imbalance, I was working on different exercises to make the left leg stronger. But, then I fell off in Portugal and damaged a muscle (near the left glute / buttock). I was hobbling around on my right leg, and not using my left leg. During recuperation, I could feel my right leg getting even stronger and left leg weaker. (kind of a shame I didn’t fall off on the other side…)
Since the injury got better, I have cautiously been trying to do exercises to strengthen the left leg. These are exercises you can do at home. One good exercise is to sit on a chair and then stand up, using just your left leg. I’ve been finding this very hard, and can only manage a couple.
Tues, I went back to the gym, to retest my leg strength. Six weeks after the crash it was:
- Left leg 54kg. Right leg 71 kg.
It’s not as bad as I feared. But, when I went on the glute machine, here, I could feel a much bigger difference between left leg and right leg. It was interesting the right leg got stronger from all that hobbling around on one leg. It’s still a significant imbalance, especially in the glutes where I damaged the muscle.
I’m not a great fan of gyms, but for 20 minutes I worked at a number of gym machines – mostly the leg exercises.
I would tend to do double the number of repetitions for the left leg. e.g. 10 with left leg, then just 5 with right leg.
I’m not trying to be an Arnie look alike (like most other people in the gym). so I wasn’t try to force heavy weights. I was just pushing manageable weights and going for a good number of repititions. I preferred the exercise machines to the exercises I was doing at home, which generally involves lifting your own body weight.
The next day, I felt a little stretching of muscles in left leg, so I think I had a good balance and not overdoing it.
Tuesday was actually dry and sunny and usually I would have jumped at chance to go out on bike. but I still chose the gym. Going to the gym for me is like taking unpalatable medicine. You don’t really enjoy doing it, but you hope it’s good for you.
I only took 20 minutes, so it’s still an expensive £35 a month. But, if it helps avoid injury, it will be money well spent.