1 Dec 2010

Multi-Joint Exercises: Build Muscle In Less Time

These are exercises that require the use of two or more joint motions in order to complete the exercise. These are also commonly referred to as compound exercises. An example of this would be a leg press, which involves a hip, knee, and slight ankle extension to press the resistance.

Linear Motion Exercises
These are exercises where the path of motion follows along a straight or linear line. A chest press performed on a Smith Machine is an example of an exercise with a linear motion.

Rotational Motion Exercises
These are exercises where the path of motion is a circular rotation around a fixed axis. Many resistance training machines provide this type of motion.

Curvilinear Motion Exercises
These are exercises that include an arching motion due to the joint's natural rotation. A barbell shoulder press could be an example of an exercise with a curvilinear motion if performed with this goal.
Singular-Plane Joint Motion Exercises
These are exercises that completely transpire in a single, perpendicular plane of motion. They can be any of the above types of motions or even combinations of them as long as the total motion remains in only one plane.

Dual- or Multiple-Plane Joint Motion Exercises
These are exercises that combine two or more motions in such a manner that the motion moves through more than one plane. An example of this motion would be performing a dumbbell front deltoid press while rotating the arms and dumbbells as they are elevated.

Singular-Plane Versus Multiple-Plane Joint Motion
For most people, conducting singular-plane joint movements is preferable to multiple-plane joint movements with most resistance-training exercises. The reasoning for this goes back to the same two principles this book is based on efficiency and safety.

Any time a joint begins to change direction or add a movement direction that takes the motion into a plane other than its original heading, other muscles are activated to accomplish the task. Once those muscles add their pull during the exercise, some of the resistance load is removed from the original primary movers. This results in a reduced demand on the primary movers and an increased demand on the secondary movers. This technique is fine if your goal is to stimulate as many muscles as possible with that one exercise. However, if your goal is to target a particular muscle or muscle group, staying with the original joint motion throughout the exercise would be advantageous.

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