Going to the Gym

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…)

Gym-titanic

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.

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2 Responses to Going to the Gym

  1. Chris February 15, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    I was always told by a couple of good physiotherapist’s, that the way to correct leg imbalance or any muscle imbalance for that matter, when using weights, was to use the weak legs first and do your set number of reps with whatever weight to controlled exhaustion, and then do exactly the same with the good leg.

    The idea being that the good leg will weaken slightly as the weak leg strengthens, there bye getting balance back quicker and then strengthen both.

    • tejvan February 17, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      Thanks Chris, useful to know.

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