Are You Choosing the Right Exercises?
In talking to Personal Trainers I am often asked about the most effective and productive exercises – and to tell you the truth when I look around most gyms – there are plenty of PTs wasting their clients times with low value exercises.
Here are a few questions that I often advise PT's to ask themselves when selecting exercises for a new workout program:
a) Are we effectively balancing muscle groups?
e.g.: make sure you perform wide Bent Over Rows to balance the wide Bench Press that you are doing in your programs – neglecting this can lead to shoulder injury.
b) Is tension being maintained in the muscle for the majority of the joint action?
e.g. : The simple Tricep Kickback involves a hell of a lot of wasted movement – with the first 45 degrees of the extension phase being effectively across gravity – you are better off doing a Two Arm Dumbbell Extension where the tension is maintained for the full range of motion.
c) What part does momentum play in the performance of the exercise?
I am sure you have all seen the last 20cm of a fast Seated Cable Row – where momentum completes the last phase of the exercise – tip – slow down and feel the tension to maximize hypertrophy.
d) Does the exercise involve a full range of motion and pre-stretch?
Close Grip Pull downs will beat Wide Grip Pulldown every day of the week based on this principle – make sure your exercises give a full Pre-stretch and as large a range of motion as safely available.
e) What hormonal effects occur with response to different exercises?
Squats and Deadlifts are proven to increase levels of circulating testosterone and growth hormone – exercises such as leg press and bench press – do not – so look for hard core exercises that deliver the best hormonal outcomes.