says Rich Kite, a strength and con­di­tion­ing coach and founder of UK Olympic Weightlift­ing

Men's Fitness - - Experts -

In the world of weightlift­ing, most of our train­ing fo­cuses around full com­pound move­ments. How­ever, even in this most func­tional of sports, there’s room for iso­la­tion ex­er­cises, es­pe­cially for strength­en­ing joints to in­crease re­sis­tance to in­jury. With heavy loads go­ing through the body, well in ex­cess of body­weight, you need to en­sure each joint can func­tion cor­rectly while un­der these forces. Iso­la­tion train­ing will do that.

The shoul­der and el­bow are com­mon vic­tims of in­jury, and bi­ceps curls do a great job of help­ing pre­vent that, while things like leg ex­ten­sion and ham­string curl ma­chines can be used in con­junc­tion with squats and pulls to fin­ish off a ses­sion. Leg ma­chine moves might gen­er­ally be viewed as van­ity ex­er­cises but they’re ac­tu­ally bril­liant for iso­lat­ing the mus­cles through a large range of mo­tion. Sin­gle-leg vari­a­tions are es­pe­cially good for cor­rect­ing im­bal­ances.

Your ap­proach to work­out pro­gram­ming should be to work with what’s in front of you and do what you can to im­prove per­for­mance. It’s im­por­tant to man­age weak­nesses so you can con­tin­u­ally progress in the most ap­pro­pri­ate way. This may mean the in­clu­sion of iso­la­tion ex­er­cises. Pretty much ev­ery­one will ben­e­fit from them – you def­i­nitely don’t need to be a body­builder to make them a key part of your train­ing.

They shouldn’t be the main fo­cus of your train­ing day, but adding three sets of 20 curls with a man­age­able weight will pro­tect your el­bows and strengthen your bi­ceps through a full range of mo­tion. That’s where iso­la­tion ex­er­cises can make a real dif­fer­ence.



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