Unilateral Movement


Note: Tonights guest Blog-Post is from Coach AJ Griffeth.

Homo Sapiens are bipedal mammals. This particular mode of locomotion has given us many evolutionary advantages, though it does have some of its own unique problems.

Because we fight gravity with only two points of balance, our feet, we have an amazingly intricate core structure that keeps our bodies standing straight up. But, due to the astounding complexity of this system, it is susceptible to dysfunction, imbalance, and injury.

In order to move our bodies safely through space our bodies utilize four “subsystems” in conjunction to stabilize the core. As we should all know, the more stable your core, the greater your core strength.

These 4 subsystems are:
– LSS (Lateral Subsystem)
– DLS (Deep Longitudinal Subsystem)
– POS (Posterior Oblique Subsystem)
– AOS (Anterior Oblique Subsystem)

Dysfunction in one of these systems can cause muscle imbalances and disrupt the timing of muscle activation sequences. Essentially, inhibit your ability to perform athletically and to live a pain free life.
To provide an example for further exploration, lets take the Lateral Subsystem (LSS). The LSS plays an integral role in the efficient functioning of the pelvis during standing, walking, and running.

Going a little bit further down the rabbit hole, the LSS is composed of:
– Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL)
– Glute Medius/Minimus
– Adductor Complex (Brevis, Longus, Magnus)
– Contralateral Quadratus Lumborum

…anyways, dysfunction in this system can cause pain in the low back, hips, and feet. Also, impede your ability to throw around massive weights and run really fast.

A prescription for this? Unilateral exercises! Think lunges…Bilateral movements (deadlift, squat, power clean) are the base of building size, explosiveness, and eliciting adaptations in the central nervous system (CNS). But they do not fully develop some of the musculature surrounding and supporting the low back, hips, and knees.
So, if any of you out there are experiencing these issues try implementing some unilateral work to help with your core and hip stability, posture, and to prevent further injury.

Some good exercises to start with:
– Walking Lunge
– Stationary Lunges (both forward and reverse)
– Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch
– Farmer Carry

It is also worth mentioning, an added benefit to unilateral leg work is that it increases the frequency at which you can perform heavy loaded work with out as much tax on the CNS as s

TOP & MIDDLE LEFT: More pics from CFA visiting CFW this past Friday at 9:00 am. BOTTOM LEFT: Coach Lauren leads the class on a cool down walk after hitting the days WOD. BOTTOM MIDDLE/RIGHT: EriCa B. works her “Unilateral Movement” with some one-armed Kettle-Bell OverHead-Squats with one hand in a cast after a surgery.

Crossfit Watsonville



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