balanced approach or absolute strength??

I have an ongoing problem with the hip on the left side of my body which tends to limit the amount of stress I can place on it. generally I tend to just do what my left side is capable of (after all, it is important not to have strength imbalances), but it occurs to me that I might be better off doing whatever my left side can handle plus whatever extra unilateral load my right side can handle on top of this. that would get me stronger overall although the gap between left and right would be even bigger than it currently is.

what would be the best approach??

can you not sort the problem out?

Massage! Fix the tighter left side - then Train harder. But training harder leads to being tighter, and requiring more massage…

thanks for the responses, but let’s assume that the problem can’t be fixed (it’s been with me for well over 10 years now and I have thrown stacks of money and time at it), or at least that I am trying to fix it, but what apporach would be better until then.

there are plenty of arguments for the balanced approach (example:, but I think I read on here that if you train one side only the other side will strengthen as well. is this to do with the concept of organism strength, or am I off the mark?

and didn’t charlie say that attempting to train the weak side harder is more likely to just result in overtraining and injuring the weak side?

I feel as though holding back my right side due to the sluggish left side could be holding back my overall strength levels, which is therefore slowing me down…

If you are talking about e.g. squating, then I certainly don’t suggest lifting with an intentional imbalance.
When my hip flares up I can often still work hard without pain or imbalance, by narrowing my stance slightly.

Agree with powerlifter - try different techniques / exercises

Would you run faster with both legs the same strength, or one leg at that level of strength and the other leg 30% stronger?

Is it more important to be balanced, or to be as strong as you can be??

Would you remain Injury free with one side 30% stronger?
If you get injured due to being 30% out of difference - then you’ll run slow.
If it’s only a couple of percent, then don’t worry about it.

Actually, I remember now. It was my chiropractor who told me to keep exercising my right leg while my left hamstring was injured. When I asked about exacerbating the strength imbalance he assured me that when you exercise one side only the other side strengthens as well. Would that help me to actually reduce the chance of injury on my left side by having it dragged up in strength by my efforts on the other side?

Perhaps 30% was too big a number, but I just plucked it out of the air to demonstrate my point…

It took me only 6-8wks to correct the strength imbalances with this one guy who was about 25-30% weaker in his left side.
By the time we finished, the difference was negligible.

Bit hard to fix it over the net.
What Country/State you in - perhaps book in with a Coach online here if you’re close to them?


I’ve been trying for 10 years, so you can probably understand my frustration and why I am looking at another option. I actually just had an appointment with my therapist who is going to recommend me for an MRI scan to see if we can get a closer look at what is happening in there…