In an age of functional fitness, more and more people are becoming increasingly in favour of compound movements as their choice of exercise. While this is anything but a bad thing, some have taken it to the extreme of excluding all form of isolation (single-joint) work. The truth is, isolation exercises can be useful and even be instrumental in improving athletic performance as well. Here are some of the ways they can earn a spot in your workout routine:
1. Allowing you to exercise during an injury
We all know that heavy work is the last thing we should be doing when we are injured, and some of us may even be told that we’re better off avoiding training of any kind altogether. This is sound advice, except that the time used for recovery can actually be put into good use training the parts of your body that are still able and well.
Because of the focus on specific muscles of the body, isolation exercises do not engage the parts that are still recovering. This can also help maintain your performance until you fully recover and are able to continue with your routine.
2. Focus on your weak spots
Isolation exercises target specific muscles that may very well be neglected or forgotten in some of your existing workout routines. Every bit counts and training these body parts may improve your overall physique even without you noticing it. For example, exercises that focus on building the glutes can help to increase hip extension strength and flexibility of the hamstring.
3. Optimise performance in a specific sport
Different sports hinges on maximising the efficiency of different parts of the body. In order to optimise performance in a specific sport, isolation exercises can be used to help train and hit the muscle groups that are crucial. With less energy and time invested in muscles that are less important to the sport, one would have more resources to train the parts that are essential.
Many people may think that isolation exercises aren’t efficient, and are thus unimportant. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Although the exercises do not train your entire body, it can greatly improve your performance and allow you to work specific muscles during recovery from an injury or surgery. Intelligently programmed isolation movements can also help to prevent potential injuries by ironing out imbalances. Implement isolation movements to your workouts today and you will see a world of difference in your physique and performance.