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Thread: weight training to even up legs!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    weight training to even up legs!

    I am a 27 yr old female.
    When I was a teenager I had an athroscapy on my right knee, it meant that after several months of inactivity my muscle had withered and I underwent physio to build it up again. However, it formed differently to my left leg- mainly with a larger vastus medialis. (Inner quad). It never bothered me too much but after doing a season of snowboarding, a few months ago my right quad has developed even more (as I use 60/70% more weight on the back leg while riding). I have tried to do some weight training and exercises on my left leg to build up the inner quad so they are even, but all that happens is toning. What can I do to fix this? It's kind of driving me nuts!- its also uncomfortable when I wear my jeans etc!

    Is it better to try to build up my left leg- if so, how?
    or to undertake exercise without weight training to reduce the muscle mass in my right leg?


    Hope you can help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Jersey
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    35
    Quote Originally Posted by cb5678 View Post
    I am a 27 yr old female.
    When I was a teenager I had an athroscapy on my right knee, it meant that after several months of inactivity my muscle had withered and I underwent physio to build it up again. However, it formed differently to my left leg- mainly with a larger vastus medialis. (Inner quad). It never bothered me too much but after doing a season of snowboarding, a few months ago my right quad has developed even more (as I use 60/70% more weight on the back leg while riding). I have tried to do some weight training and exercises on my left leg to build up the inner quad so they are even, but all that happens is toning. What can I do to fix this? It's kind of driving me nuts!- its also uncomfortable when I wear my jeans etc!

    Is it better to try to build up my left leg- if so, how?
    or to undertake exercise without weight training to reduce the muscle mass in my right leg?


    Hope you can help!
    I'm sorry CB - I don't have a straight answer for you. Maybe talk with a physical therapist and see what they reccomend.

    ~Haz~

  3. #3
    There's been arguments for years when it comes to this sort of thing. Some people will claim that when one side is weaker than another, and this usually applies to legs or arms, that you're better off doing more isolation movements concentrating on the weak side.

    I disagree, basic compound movements are always your best bet. In this case, exercises such as standard barbell squats would be your best bet. I'm not discounting isolation movements or things like single leg, leg extensions, but there is always a lot to be said about compounds.

    Again, take squats for instance, since you have a weaker leg, when you perform your squats, your weaker leg is going to be forced to catch up to the stronger side...otherwise you'd simply fall over. I don't say that to be funny but a lot of people mistakenly perform only singe side isolation movements thinking this will fix the problem...IMO, it's similar to the idea that eating less meals will help you lose weight, the idea sounds right at first glance but we all know that you have to eat multiple meals to lose weight correctly.

    Again, squats, keep your feet as close together as you comfortable can, the closer your feet are, the more you'll work the inner part of your quads, the wider the stance, the more emphasis is put on the outer heads of the muscle...same on the leg press.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Texas
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    27
    I have to somewhat agree with Justin here, complex movements like squat, front squat, hack squat, lunges, but yes some isolation movements would do you good on top of compound lifts.

    Wide stance works inner thigh
    Narrow stance works more outer thigh

    What's your normal leg routine look like now??
    NASM certified PT, PES, CES

    Listen to your body, if it's hungry...feed it, if it's tired...rest it....train hard.....in iron.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    5

    weight training to even up legs!

    Cycling regularly is great for lower body strength, but leaves a lot to be desired for the upper body muscle groups. And this can be a major liability - both for roadies who need that extra edge in road competitions and for mountain bikers who need this upper body strength to lift, jump, or just plain muscle heavier bikes over rough terrain and obstacles.

    A reasonable approach is to focus on building strength (not bulk) in the winter and then backing off to just maintain it during the peak riding season. Strength from the weight room will help with on the bike performance, but 3 sets of leg presses at 400 pounds is different from the riding demands of roughly 30,000 pedal strokes during a century. When you're riding, resistance is in the range of 10-40 pounds per pedal revolution. So for the riding season you need to convert that weight-room strength to cycling-specific power with intervals, training time trials, and hill work.

    WHY "MUSCLE UP"?

    1.The upper body, including abdominal muscles, is an integral part of the pedal stroke. A strong torso provides the rigidity to deliver maximum power from the quads to the pedal. On a level stretch, a strong rider will barely move their upper body while those who are tiring will rock their pelvis on the saddle. And watch a group of road riders in a sprint or a technical single track rider pulling and rocking their shoulders and handlebars. This motion actually levers the bike, adding to the power of their legs on the pedals.

    2. Muscle strength in the quads and legs can mean the difference between walking and riding up a short (10 to 15 pedal stroke) hill.

    3. A strong upper body gives additional protection for those falls that are part of the sport.

    4. Muscle strength and endurance help prevent the fatigue of the constant jarring and correction that are part of a long descent - and in turn this freshness helps to maintain sharp reflexes and technical

    RECOMMENDED EXERCISE PLANS

    There are two approaches to resistance or weight training. The first is the "keep it simple" approach one can put together at home and on the bike, and the other is the more "traditional" using free weights. Both should be done 3 times a week (2 times at a minimum) to maximize benefits.

    Most coaches recommend a program of strength building (higher weights, fewer reps) in the winter and then a shift to lower weights (perhaps 50% max) and more reps (3 sets, 50% max.weight, 25 reps OR 2 sets, 25% max.weight, 50 reps) as the cycling season approaches to mimic the ways you use your muscles on the bike and to decrease the possibility of injuries.

    The following idea builds on the concept of transitioning from a pure muscle building program to one that mimics how you use those muscles on the bike. Do a 3 - 5 minute "muscle reeducation" on the spin cycle after lifting. This stresses the muscles and then uses a sport specific task to coordinate the firing patterns of the muscle cells. The same concept is being applied when a coach uses a medicine ball to encourage new firing patterns.

    KEEP IT SIMPLE (i.e. you don't have free weights available)

    * Shift down 2 cogs on your bike during a long endurance ride, and concentrate on pushing and pulling through the pedal stroke at 60 - 80 RPM for 30 seconds. Repeat 6 times. A second set can be done after a 5 minute rest. An alternative to squats.
    * Dips on the back of two sturdy chairs.
    * Crunchers for the abs and low back.
    * Push-ups.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    5

    weight training to even up legs!

    LOS ANGELES -- After Andrew Bynum's first day of on-court basketball drills since straining his left Achilles' tendon on March 19 at the Los Angeles Lakers shootaround Wednesday, the Lakers center was energized at the prospect of returning to the lineup for the playoffs in a matter of days.

    Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson took a more cautious outlook when considering Bynum's return.

    "I'm not going to get into trying to anticipate [how much Bynum will be able to play]," Jackson said before the Lakers' 107-91 loss to the Clippers in their regular season finale. "We don't know whether he can play six minutes a half or if he can play 10 minutes a half. We'll look and see how his conditioning is and measure it from there, after Friday-Saturday, if things go right."

    Jackson said the team won't know how much it can use Bynum until it sees how the injury reacts to Bynum playing through game conditions.

    "Being asymptomatic is really an issue and he may not be asymptomatic after five minutes [of playing time]," Jackson said. "It may start to affect him in a way that he has to come out of the ballgame. If it's something that bothers him in the first half, will we play him in the second half?"
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