Total Body Exercises vs Single Muscle Group Exercises

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Total Body Exercises vs Single Muscle Group Exercises

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 than others.

Total Body Exercises vs Single Muscle Group ExercisesSingle 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 back.


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