Unilateral training (one weight) is very beneficial for firefighters, EMTs and paramedics. The fire-ground can be very unstable– icing conditions, high steps, inclines, all create challenges for the fire rescue athlete. To combat these unstable conditions you should be using unilateral training exercises. While training with both sides can be better for the ego by lifting heavy weights, unilateral training will balance your muscles and help you perform better on the fire-ground. Here is a great video explaining how easy it is to incorporate unilateral training into your firefighter workout program. Take a look.
A great way to incorporate a functional exercise is to use a foam bucket (filled with water) and carry it for a prescribed distance or up stairs. This unilateral carry with a full bucket really requires some great core stability and balance.
Give unilateral training a try, substitute certain traditional exercises with their unilateral counter part and watch your overall firelighter functional strength increase.
Unilateral training is great to do in the gym because you know you will be doing it on the fire-ground.
Let me know if you have questions or feedback.
Stay safe and healthy,