One of my clients said to me today, “You don’t believe in doing any easy exercises do you?”
Which made me ask, “What do you mean?”
She said, “You know…like curls or any non-complex moves…”
And I had to smile, because, no, I don’t really believe in doing isolation movements very often.
I want to get the most out of the time I have – and to get the most out of a shorter amount of time, you need to do COMPOUND MOVEMENTS.
Honestly I don’t believe you ever need to do isolation exercises unless you are a body builder, fitness model or someone rehabbing an injury.
They simply aren’t that functional. They don’t work numerous muscles at once. They don’t burn as many calories. And generally they are focused on smaller muscles that just simply don’t give you that much bang for your buck or even need to be worked that often or intensely.
That being said, I do believe in isolating your glutes more, but that gives you A LOT of bang for your buck and even when “isolating” your glutes often other muscles in your legs do assist.
I mean think about it….When you work your chest most of the moves also work your triceps and shoulders. So why do tricep extensions when you can work a big muscle group like your chest while ALSO hitting your triceps AND your shoulders?
Or take for instance the push up…You can work your chest, shoulders, triceps, abs, quads and even your glutes WITH ONE MOVE. Would you really rather do a tricep extension and just work your tricep?
Same goes for bicep curls.
Why do bicep curls when you work your biceps with basically every back exercise? And compound back movements like the Inverted Row hit the BIG muscles of your back to also improve your posture and prevent/alleviate neck, shoulder and upper back pain?!?
Hmm just work your biceps or work numerous muscles at once to make lots of muscles stronger while burning more fat and helping to alleviate aches and pains….
Tough decision right?!?
Also…too many people complain they don’t have time to workout.
But it isn’t that they don’t have time to workout, they just don’t have time to do some of the bodybuilding routines shown in some fitness magazines.
When working out you have to consider your goals AND the time you have.
And probably 90% of the time COMPOUND EXERCISES are the answer.
But wait…What if I want to tone this one specific trouble zone?
Uhm…well you can’t spot reduce for one so you would be better off doing a compound exercise that burns more fat and still works the muscle.
Yup…Compound movements are STILL the answer.
Are you using your workout time wisely and doing exercises that will give you the most bang for your buck?
(Another good question to consider when picking compound exercise variations and weights (and a post for another day) is, “Are you getting the most out of your workouts by actually CHALLENGING yourself?”