Sunday, 4 September 2011

Functional compound exercises over Isometric

Do yourself a favour and stop pissing around with biceps curls, wrist curls, calf raises and leg extensions.

Implement functional compound exercises into your workouts for warm up, strength adaptions and cool down.

1/ Lift greater loads - due to recruiting more muscle groups
2/ Faster strength adaptions - due to lifting heavier
3/ Improved coordination -  practising functional movements
4/ Develop an active core - Functional exercises rely on a strong active center
5/ Burn more calories - Using more muscle groups therefor burning more energy
6/ Build wicked biceps - without even thinking about a silly one arm curl.

Bicep curls are for shape, or improving muscle balance from one side of the body compared to the other. If you want strength gains and over muscle build or tone then follow this information.

Your body was built to move in a coordinated way recruiting large amount of muscle fibres to deliver great strength with minimal ease. Think about sitting up off a chair. What exercise are we essentially doing? The up phase of a squat or the concentric phase. This activity requires you to drive through the glutes, hips and quads to stand up. The stronger your squat the more energy you will have and less tired you will be. When you jump the same movement is essentially required. Right before you explode up when all the joints are loaded you have hip and knee joints flexion and ankle dorsi flexion (try to touch toes to shin bone - this is dorsi flexion at the ankle). A successful jumps requires the well timed recruitment of muscles to extend your body powerfully into the air.

To understand how to best train you body you need to have a basic understanding of what each joint does. Different joints have different functions and the aim is ultimately getting the body to work together as efficiently and powerfully as possible.  Great functionality combines movements that are useful to us is daily life. For example; The bicep curl rates as a poor functional exercise because it is very rare that you will actually do this sort of movement isometrically or without moving other joints. A more functional exercise would be a chin up which creates flexion at the elbow (identical to the bicep curl) and also the shoulder. This is a pulling movement that you may need when climbing a ladder, rope or even a tall fence.

Other excellent functional compound exercises are:

Squat (read more here)
Bench press/ push up
Chin up/Pull up
Horizontal pull up - Heels on ground pull chest to bar  (video and explanation coming)
Dead lift

Look them up by clicking here

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