What is Asymmetrical Weight Shift?
Asymmetrical weight shift refers to a movement distortion where there is a shifting of weight towards one side of the body, (i.e., arms, legs, torso) especially during walking or standing (often in a squatting position). This often indicates a strength imbalance around the lumbo-pelvic (where the spine meets the hip) region and the core, which can result in instability with walking, pain and tightness, especially on one side, in the shoulders, lower back, hips, knees, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
How Does This Happen?
There are many reasons for asymmetrical weight shift. However, we almost always favor one side of the body over the other, which gets compounded by poor postures, over-training, and injuries. This means that other movement distortions and postural issues, such as uneven leg length, knee valgus, patellofemoral issues, hip tilt, flexion dominance, etc., are occurring simultaneously with this strength imbalance.
Signs of Asymmetrical Weight Shift
- Favoring one side of the body
- Difficulties with squatting, standing, and/or walking
- Tight hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings
- Knee valgus
- Low back pain
- Lumbo-pelvic instability
How Do You Fix Asymmetrical Weight Shift?
To address asymmetrical weight shift, it is important to release the dominant side while strengthening the nondominant half of the body. We recommend the following exercises:
- Release – hip adductors dominant side, hip abductors non-dominant side 60sec each
- Activate – hip abductors dominant side, hip adductors non-dominant side 60sec each
- Integrate – single leg hip press 2 x 20
- Strengthen – transversus abdominis – dead bug 2 x 20