Effects of unilateral vs. bilateral resistance training interventions on measures of strength, jump, linear and change of direction speed: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Kai Fang Liao, George P. Nassis, Chris Bishop, Wei Yang, Chao Bian, Yong Ming Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Exercises can be categorized into either unilateral or bilateral movements. Despite the topic popularity, the answer to the question as to which (unilateral or bilateral) is superior for a certain athletic performance enhancement remains unclear. To compare the effect of unilateral and bilateral resistance training interventions on measures of athletic performance. Keywords related with unilateral, bilateral and performance were used to search in the Web of Science, PubMed databases, and Google Scholar and ResearchGate™ websites. 6365 articles were initially identified, 14 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis, with overall article quality being deemed moderate. The quantitative analysis comprised 392 subjects (aged: 16 to 26 years). Sub-group analysis showed that unilateral exercise resistance training resulted in a large effect in improving unilateral jump performance compared to bilateral training (ES = 0.89 [0.52, 1.26]). In contrast, bilateral exercise resistance training showed a small effect in improving bilateral strength compared to unilateral (ES = -0.43 [-0.71, -0.14]). Non-significant differences were found in improving unilateral strength (ES = 0.26 [-0.03, 0.55]), bilateral jump performance (ES = -0.04 [-0.31, 0.23]), change of direction (COD) (ES = 0.31 [-0.01, 0.63]) and speed (ES = -0.12 [-0.46, 0.21]) performance. Unilateral resistance training exercises should be chosen for improving unilateral jumping performance, and bilateral resistance training exercises should be chosen for improving bilateral strength performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-497
Number of pages13
JournalBiology of Sport
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Bilateral exercises
  • Exercise selection
  • Performance Specificity
  • Unilateral exercises

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Physiology (medical)

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