As I was planning my workout for today I noticed something very interesting that I didn’t really pay attention to in the past.
As I looked down the list of exercises I had in my book I noticed that they were all “multi-joint exercises”. It was pretty cool to know that my subconscious automatically gravitates towards the more efficient and time saving exercises, but it gave me something to think about.
Will “single-joint” exercises have a benefit to people in a few years from now?
Today you see many people at the gym as well as fitness leaders perform an array of exercises that combine different movements together to help save time and to allow their body to increase it’s muscle efficiency.
As a result not many people are using the traditional exercise machines that move one joint and focus on one muscle group.
Before I continue, let me give you an example of a multi joint exercise and a single joint exercise so that we’re on the same page.
Multi –Joint: Squat
Single Joint: Leg Extension Machine
When looking at these two examples you can see why a squat will be far more beneficial than just doing a leg extension for a healthy and fit individual.
With the multi joint exercises you’re able to work multiple muscles all in one shot, saving you a crap load of time while working more muscles.
But single joint exercises do give you some benefit. I was taught in college that if you’re training a beginner you should start them off on machine weights rather than with dumbbells because the machine weights are a lot safer..which is true.
Another aspect where I think single joint exercise may be beneficial is during rehab. If you need to isolate one muscle group and focus on it for a specific reason or because of an injury the machine allows you to do that in a safe and controlled environment.
So is one type of jointed exercise better than the other? The way I see it, is that you can utilize both styles to help achieve your goals. If you’re a beginner to exercise start off with the machines to introduce you muscles to exercise and then start using dumbbells once your comfortable.
But once you get into the hang of things you’ll rarely hop over to the machine weights.