Total Body Exercises vs Single Muscle Group
Total body exercises for strength gains
There is some debate as to which is the best type of training
for the greatest gains in strength. Total body exercises work
more than single muscle group exercises. Exercises such as
Squats (legs, core and back), Bench Press (arms and chest),
and Power Clean (legs, back, core and arms) exercises combine
a number of muscle groups at once, working them in unison.
Larger weights can be lifted using these techniques which
can be a pull factor for training in this way, although without
the proper technique, they can prove to be quite dangerous.
There is also the issue that some muscles will be worked harder
muscle group exercises for strength gains
Exercises such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, leg extensions
or leg curls act on individual or a small amount of muscle groups.
These exercises focus on working fewer muscles harder. This is the
best way to work an individual muscle but it is time consuming.
Using a combination of complete body exercises and single muscle
group exercises is the best method for strength gains. This way
the muscles can work together in total body exercises, relating
more the movements in many sports, making the training more sport
specific. The single muscle movements can isolate the muscles which
you feel may require more work while still getting a complete workout
then combined with complete body movements.
** When training it is important to remember the rule “what
you do to one side you do to the other”. Amateur body builders
are renowned for ignoring this rule. When working a muscle group,
make sure the opposing muscle group is also worked, not necessarily
on that specific session, but as a rule within the week at least.
An example of this is working the chest and Abs during one session
through bench press and crunches, then the next session working
the back muscles using the bend over row and deadlifts. This will
help to maintain posture and prevent ‘hunching’ of the