The barbell has been THE primary piece of exercise equipment for years now, but it is time for priorities to shift. There is nothing wrong with lifts using the barbell. I personally love barbell exercises. They just should not make up the bulk of the exercises in an athlete’s program.
When you perform exercises using a barbell it becomes easy to compensate with a dominate side of your body. This allows you to ignore one arm or one leg having more strength than the other. Even your core is usually asymmetrical in strength.
This is why unilateral, or one sided, work is so important when developing an athletic base. These exercises help to make each side equally strong and fix some of your natural imbalances. This becomes especially important for swinging sports like golf or baseball where the repetitive motion of your sport makes you inherently imbalanced.
Here are a few of my favorite exercise to program for athletes for their unilateral work.