Choosing the Right Exercises!

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.