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Be the Better: How to Choose the Best Exercise for Your Workout

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how to choose the best exercise for yourself

Last time I told you about 5 machines to stay away from. Then I left you for a while without giving you some exercises to embrace. SMH. You’re right. I need to “Be The Better.”

Anyway, as I was about to give you a list of exercises you should do, I thought “Hmm, wouldn’t it be better to teach you what to look for and how to choose the better exercise for yourself?”  I knew you would agree!

From the Beginner to the Advanced, there is one VERY IMPORTANT rule of thumb when choosing exercises you SHOULD do. That rule is that at least 90% of your exercises in any particular routine should be “Compound Movements/Exercises” and not “Isolation Movements/Exercises.”

What the hell is the difference B? -_-

Well, a compound exercise is any exercise/movement that requires more than one joint to extend/flex at the same damn time (sorry I had too) in order to perform the exercise.

An isolation exercise is any exercise/movement that requires only one joint to extend/flex to perform the movement and that’s that ish I don’t like (ok I’m done, promise).

Don’t over think it, its as simple as it sounds.

****** Compound Movements/Exercises >>>> Isolation Movements/Exercises****** 

Quick example: A biceps curl is an isolation exercise with movement only coming from the elbow joint. A Pull-up (which also targets the biceps) is a compound movement with movement coming from the elbow joint and the shoulder joint. Therefore, if you have to choose between doing biceps curls or doing Pull-ups, which exercise would you choose? CORRECT! The PULL-UP!

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The benefits of compound movements are abundant. Here are a few:

  1. Compound exercises are bigger movements. Bigger movements burn more calories/fat than smaller (isolation) movements. More calories or fat burned = *nods head up and down*
  2. Less time in the gym. With compound movements you can train your ENTIRE body in 8-10 exercises, EFFECTIVELY.
  3. Safety and Efficiency. Most compound exercises are safer when it comes to decreasing the risk of injury. The more joints involved in a movement = less strain on a single joint having to do all the work. Also, when you perform compound movements you tend to hit those stabilizer muscles throughout your body making you an overall better speci(wo)men.

With that simple tidbit of knowledge in mind, you should be able to decide whether an exercise is worthy of making it into your workout routine or not. By the way, here is the short list of exercises I said I wasn’t going to give you anyway… with a catch. (:

#BeTheBetter 101: QUIZ

Choose the “better” exercises for your workout routine based on

“compound movements >>> isolation movements”

and list only the compounds in your comment box (along with your comment).

Don’t be afraid to get anything wrong, WE ARE LEARNING!

Hint: there are 8 compound movements listed below.

  • o Squats
  • o Lunges
  • o Deadlifts
  • o Step-Ups
  • o Leg Extension
  • o Abductor/Adductor
  • o Push-ups
  • o Triceps Pull-downs
  • o Lat-Pull Downs
  • o Biceps Curls
  • o Pull-ups/Chin ups
  • o Bench Press
  • o Calf-Raises
  • o Triceps extensions
  • o Forearm/Wrist Curls
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Until next time band… #BeTheBetter

 

Comment(5)

  1. Squats, lunges,push ups, pull ups, lat pull down, bench press, step ups, deadlifts

    I can’t do a pull up to save my life!

  2. The woman in the picture is doing a lunge with proper hip extension in the trailing leg! That's something you don't see every day!

  3. I like to run. I'm not afraid of a great class or boot camp, and try to incorporate yoga, especially to avoid injury. But honestly, my body responds best to running. I can do tons of other cardio and weights, but if I'm not running, the weight isn't coming off.

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