The vast majority of us have a dominant hand/arm, i.e., we’re either right- or left-handed.
What most of us don’t realize is that we also have a dominant foot/leg. For those of us who are right-handed (like me), it’s normally your right. If you pay attention to which leg you use to start walking or begin going up stairs or kick a soccer ball, you can pretty easily identify which leg is dominant. The dominant leg, like the dominant hand/arm, is usually better developed and stronger than the other one.
My dominant leg has always been my right one, and it’s also the one that had the hip replacement a couple of years ago. Frankly, after I recovered from surgery, I haven’t been able to tell any difference (except it no longer hurts). I have to remind myself that I have an artificial hip and I have to NOT do certain things that I would do automatically otherwise.
Then I got my Wii Fit Plus with the balance board.
For those of you who don’t have one, the balance board looks like the little platform people use in step classes. You stand on it and it can calculate your weight, BMI, assess your weight balance (how you carry yourself), determine your posture and a number of other things. When doing yoga and strength exercises, it gives you feedback on how steady your posture and whether you’re positioned correctly. When doing activities (like the hula hoop), it can track the pattern of exercise and tell you how many you did on each side. While it is, essentially, a very sophisticated scale that measures the two sides of your body, the sensitivity of the measurement and the interpretive feedback is pretty amazing.
That’s what’s telling me that my right/dominant leg is performing at about 85% of my left leg. I thought it was a one-time fluke, but it’s been consistent, and the measurements are coming up across a range of activities and exercises. If anything, it should be the other way around. My right foot/leg should be stronger than my left.
I still think of my right leg as dominant. I still start walking first with my right leg, take stairs first with it, and if I played soccer — I’d kick the soccer ball with it. However, it is clearly not as strong as my left one.
The obvious answer is that the leg was weakened via the hip-replacement surgery. Or it could be additional RA/arthritis damage on that side. I really don’t know, and for all practical purposes, it doesn’t really matter. I wish I had “before” and “after” data so I knew for sure if the hip surgery caused the difference. What will be interesting is if the training I’m doing will eventually even things out.
I’m learning a lot of neat things through my Wii, I just didn’t see this one coming.
I hope whatever comes your way brings a smile along with it. Thanks for checking in.