Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Body Part Isolation vs. Complex Movements in Strength Training - Build Real Muscle Instead of Fake!


Working as a fitness professional, there is one type of question I get all the time that shows that many people are missing the big picture regarding the benefits of strength training. This popular question usually goes something like this:

"What exercise can I do to isolate my _______ (insert your muscle of choice - abs, quads, biceps, triceps, etc)?"

It doesn't matter which muscle someone is asking about, they always seem to be asking how to 'isolate' it. My first response to this question is always - "Why in the world would you want to isolate it?"

The first thing I try to teach my clients is that the body does not work well in muscle isolation. Rather, it works better in movements along a kinetic chain; that is, large portions of the body assist other portions of the body in completing a complex movement. In fact, there really is no such thing as true muscle isolation. There is almost always a nearby muscle group that will assist in some way with whatever movement you are doing. However, this article compares attempting to 'isolate' body parts via single-joint exercises to the much more effective strategy of performing multi-joint complex movements.

When you attempt to 'isolate' muscles by performing single-joint exercises, you are actually creating a body that is non-functional and will be more prone to injury. Essentially, you are creating a body that is a compilation of body parts, instead of a powerful, functional unit that works together.

Now if you really want to end up hobbling around in a body bandaged up with joint problems, tendonitis, and excess body fat, then by all means, continue trying to 'isolate' body parts. On the other hand, if you would rather have a lean, muscular, injury-free, functional body that works as a complete powerful unit to perform complex movements (in athletics or even everyday tasks), then you need to shift your focus away from muscle isolation. Believe me, focusing on how well your body functions will give you the side effect of a body that looks even better than it would have if you focused on muscle isolation. For example, take a look at the physiques of any NFL running backs, wide receivers, or even world class sprinters. Trust me when I say that these guys pretty much NEVER train for muscle isolation (their strength coaches wouldn't be crazy enough to let them), yet they are absolutely ripped to shreds! Just look at guys like Maurice Green or Terrell Owens and tell me who wouldn't want a physique like those guys.

Another benefit to moving away from the 'muscle isolation' mindset to a more 'complex movement' mindset is that you will find it much easier to lose body fat. The reason is that by focusing more on multi-joint complex movements as opposed to single-joint muscle isolation, you not only burn a lot more calories during each workout, but you also increase your metabolic rate, and stimulate production of more fat burning and muscle building hormones like growth hormone and testosterone.

Let's look at an example. The machine leg extension is a single joint exercise that works mainly the quadriceps, can potentially cause knee joint instability in the long run, and doesn't even burn that many calories. On the other hand, exercises like squats, lunges, step-ups, and deadlifts are all multi-joint complex movements that work hundreds of muscles in the body (including the quadriceps) as a functional unit, create more stable and strong joints in the long run (when done properly), and also burn massive quantities of calories compared to the single-joint exercises.

If you're interested in discovering more ways to create a body that looks as good as it functions, visit http://truthaboutabs.com

Michael Geary, NCSF-CPT, AFAA-CPT, and author of "The Truth about Six Pack Abs" 2004-2005


MORE RESOURCES:

Techly

Get physical, lose weight and build muscle with the world's first workout …putty?
Techly
That silly putty you played with as a kid has inspired a unique workout. This workout putty is called MachoMax and has been developed to enable a “unique type of muscle training to improve endurance”.



Can I build muscle without going to a gym?
TheHealthSite
According to Arnav Sarkar, strength coach and fitness trainer, bodyweight exercises can definitely help beginners, but may not be able to build muscle after a certain extent. 'Yes, it is possible to some degree, especially for beginners. The key is to ...



Tech Times

Bodybuilders Are Slurping Breast Milk To Build Muscle But Is It A Good Idea?
Tech Times
Some fitness buffs are looking to buy breast milk, believing it can help them achieve bodybuilding goals. Experts say it's not a good or healthy decision. (Photo : Andrew Burton | Getty Images). This story puts a whole new spin on the "got milk ...
Men bulking up by drinking breast milkKFDA
Looking to bulk up? Breast milk is the latest trend in weightliftingKABC-TV

all 101 news articles »


Here's a quick way to blast fat AND build muscle [video]
Bangor Daily News
I have a love/hate relationship with barbell complexes. I love them because they make cardio workouts less boring and more effective by boosting the burn and intensity without stressing the joints. I kinda hate them because, done right, they can be a ...

and more »


The One Thing You Need to Do to Build Muscle
STACK News
We've all seen the 150-pound soaking wet trainee who kills himself in the gym day in and day out but isn't gaining muscle. Why? He may have drawn the short end of the stick in the genetics pool, but another reason may be the lack of nutrition before ...



Mid-Day

World Cup 2015: Threw stones to build muscle for fast bowling, says Sohail Khan
Mid-Day
As a youngster, dreaming of making a name for himself, Khan used to throw stones down the hills in Malakand agency — the mountainous tribal area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province — to build muscle to bowl fast. Deprived of basic cricket facilities, Khan ...

and more »


USA TODAY

Giants punter explains why he decided to donate his brain to science
USA TODAY
Also, you are going to want protein in your system in order to build muscle after hitting the weight room. Quest protein bars are a personal favorite of mine. They are a huge source of the proteins and amino acids that you are going to need if you are ...



Older adults need to double protein intake to build muscle
Pune Mirror
It is well known that consuming protein stimulates the body's cells to build protein. However, getting older combined with eating less protein can lead to a decline in the body's muscle-building efficiency. Maintaining and building muscle is especially ...



The Inquisitr

How To Prevent Your Brain From Shrinking [Study]
The Inquisitr
It is no surprise that physical fitness is an integral aspect to one's health. Many flock to the gym three times a week or more, practice yoga, weightlifting, or engage in a plethora of other physical activities to get lean, build muscle, and stay in ...

and more »


Men's Journal

A Celebrity Trainer's Bodyweight Workout Tips
Men's Journal
Trainer Josh Holland has helped create some serious fitness transformations. His most recent: Taking Oscar Isaac from the frumpy folksinger you remember from 2013's Inside Llewyn Davis to an über-ripped villain for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse. With ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.