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:

Simple Guide to More Muscle
MSN Money
Sometimes we overcomplicate our workout. We add more exercises, change rep ranges, shift rest periods-only to realize that all the work didn't deliver more results. This plan is designed for someone that wants to think less and see more. As in, see ...



The Prime Time to Build Muscle
STACK News
Although it may feel like you're building muscle during your workout, those Squats you're doing aren't adding an ounce of muscle mass. Size gains only happen following workouts under ideal circumstances. You may not be able to control the outcome of a ...



Better squats: Leg workouts that burn fat and build muscle
Today.com
A traditional bodyweight squat involves a shoulder-width stance, arms out in front or hands behind your head, and a simple lowering of yourself towards the ground by bending at the knees and hips. Very good for you but totally boring! These three squat ...



Build Muscle With This Diet for Young Athletes
STACK News
In the case of a 16-year-old male who wants to build muscle, he needs about 1.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If he has a fast metabolism, increasing carbs and fat as well as protein will facilitate muscle protein synthesis. If his ...



Clinically Researched Safe Supplement Helps Athletes Build Muscle
MENAFN.COM
Aside from helping people build muscle HGH therapy can make people look and feel younger with a plethora of advantages that include improved skin tone heightened sex drive better sleep increased lean muscle mass reduced body fat mood enhancement ...



New Press Release Published About Best Way to Build Muscle Mass without ...
DigitalJournal.com
Chelsea J. McDevitt published their new Press Release today about best way to build muscle mass without supplements. This PR reveals all about the program includes high strength workouts to help gentlemens pack on pure, shredded muscle in the ...

and more »


How to Train to Failure for Maximum Muscle Growth
Men's Fitness
Training to failure means doing so many reps that you physically can't complete any more. The objective is to induce the most possible muscle growth by pumping maximum blood to the area. Opponents of training to failure claim it will tire your nervous ...

and more »


Rockin' Refuel® Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Fat Free Protein Milk Beverage That ...
SYS-CON Media (press release)
For athletes looking to build muscle, Rockin' Refuel Muscle Builder is packed with high-quality protein and fewer carbs. For athletes looking to rebuild muscle after a workout, Rockin' Refuel Muscle Recovery is made with 100 percent real milk and ...

and more »


Weekly Wellness: Hard work on basic exercises
The Doings Weekly
Our weekly fitness column, “Weekly Wellness” is back again. This week, Matt Gallagher, from MFC Sports Performance in Darien, discusses how simple hard work can have you feeling better and more fit. Your routine doesn't actually have to “kill” you!

and more »


The negative side of supplements
Quinnipiac Chronicle
So in order to help keep this image, many students, particularly male students, use protein powder in food and drinks to build muscle. What most people do not know, however, is that there are cons to using protein powder and supplements. According to ...


Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.