When performing unilateral exercises you should always begin with the weaker side first. Unilateral exercises are movements performed one limb at a time. For example a lunge or a standing single arm shoulder press. Naturally we tend to have a dominant side, hand in which we write or carry a bag for instance. Due to the reliance of our dominant side we are susceptible to overuse injuries as well as altered lifting patterns when performing bilateral exercises (using both arms or legs at the same time) like on a barbell bench press or a squat. We will always try and compensate more in favour of our dominant side. So with this in mind we have what is known as a structural imbalance between left and right side. In order to bridge the gap between our imbalances we always start with our weaker side. The reason being if we started with our dominant side and completed the prescribed amount of reps and then switched to the weaker side and only managed half the reps we would be compounding the imbalance and widening the gap. So starting with the weaker side first is better if we only manage to complete half the reps, therefor we will only do half on the dominant side.
Lift with a purpose
How often have you seen people working the exercise instead of focusing on the contractions of the muscles for that same exercise? Sure you will be burning calories, but laying down quality muscle tissue? Not a chance also not to mention aimlessly moving is more likely to cause yourself an injury. So with every exercise first think ‘what is the primary muscle that I want to work?’ Then when you perform the exercise really concentrate on the tempo. By doing this you will improve your mind muscle connection, which makes you more aware and in control of your body. The greater the mind muscle connection, the greater the control and contraction, which leads to greater results.
I hope you find these tips useful and can incorporate them into your workouts.