Personal Training: A Lesson In Body Asymmetry With Tricia Somma

Mar 16, 2016Brooklyn Boulders

Next stop on the Brooklyn Boulders personal training tour: Queensbridge. Our newest location for climbing and community is located in the heart of the developing and robust Long Island City, filled with brand spankin’ new fitness equipment and a new team of awesome personal trainers (with a lot of personality).

Fitness is all about the foundation. You have to find the cracks and fill them first.

I got to spend a short session with Tricia Somma, who believes passionately in first building a strong foundation, physically and mentally, before progression. One lesson I learned from her was that most people have asymmetry in their bodies – that is, one side of the body tends to be stronger than the other.
Here are three simple tests for body asymmetry:

  1. Plank test: Get into plank pose, and then from there, move the right leg out to the right. Try again with the left leg and moving out left. For most people, there will be some shifting of the hips or bodyweight to accommodate a weaker or less dominate side. For me, it was my left.
  2. Pistol squats: This test is for those who are already fairly strong, but can reveal subtle asymmetries. Stand with one leg elevated parallel to the floor, lower, and then rise. Repeat on the other side. Notice which side is weaker with poorer form.
  3. Farmer carry: Even just walking around with heavy weights can reveal a body imbalance, if you’re compensating on one side or have bad posture.

Most people will show some body asymmetry. And, like most things in life, balance is important. Tricia instructed me to do single leg deadlifts with a dumbbell shoulder press.
tricia somma pt
tricia somma pt2

The Single Leg Deadlift with a Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Step 1: Hold a dumbbell in your right hand while stabilizing on your left leg.
Step 2: Slightly bend your left knee, while hinging your torso forward from your hip. Keep the dumbbell parallel to the inside of your left leg as you lower your torso parallel to the floor. Send your bent right leg back to counter the forward force or your torso.
Step 3: Press into the floor with your left heel as you begin the up phase of the exercise. The timing of reaching your full vertical torso position, straightening of your left knee, and the dumbbell being brought up to your right shoulder should happen at the same time.
Step 4: While standing on your left leg, press your right arm up to complete the shoulder press. Lower the dumbbell back to your shoulder and slowly return it to your right side. Repeat the exercise.
Repeat for 10-15 repetitions, then switch sides. Continue for 3 sets on each side. This compound exercise is great for balance and strength -it’s a full body exercise.

How asymmetrical is your body? Get a complimentary personal training consultation to find out.
Next up – the personal trainers at BKB Somerville. Stay tuned!

Tricia Somma is a Certified Personal Trainer at Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge. Sign up for a complimentary personal training consult with Tricia click here.
For personal training consultations at our other locations:

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