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5 Essential Isolation Exercises You Need in Your Routine

Saturday, November 28, 2020

 


When it comes to building muscle mass and developing strength nothing quite beats compound movements, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for isolation exercises. Isolation exercises work by targeting a single muscle at a time and are an essential part of bodybuilding.

When it comes to building a physique like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s or any of the other bodybuilding greats, it’s going to take isolation exercises to help define each muscle. Let’s take a look at 5 great isolation exercises for you to add to your exercise routines.

1. Standing Barbell Curl

The standing barbell curl is the bread and butter of bicep exercises. The reason that it’s so good is that, unlike seated bicep exercises, the standing barbell curl allows you to add some serious weight to the bar.

To get the most out of this exercise there are several slight variations you can perform. To target the inside of the bicep just take a wider grip on the bar. To work the outside take a narrow grip.

If you want to incorporate the forearms more you can use an overhand grip. If you want to isolate the biceps even further you can stand with your back against a wall, thus restricting the shoulders from helping with the movement.

2. Leg Extension

While the squat and leg-press are key for quad development, the leg extension machine is a must for people looking for defined quads. Compound exercises like the squat and deadlift target a lot of muscles so fatigue can kick in quickly. This can make balance and the range of motion more difficult so it's difficult to burn out the muscles safely.

The leg extension allows you to target the quads without having to stand or worry about pressure on the back. Leg extensions are a great way to target the quads at the beginning of a leg workout. You can also get pretty creative with drop-sets, slow-negatives, and partial reps.

3. Hamstring Curl Machine

The hamstring curl machine is to your hamstrings what the leg extension is to your quads. It allows you to target the hamstrings without all the extra stress that you’d get from trying to burn your hamstrings out with stiff-legged deadlifts.

Paired with leg extensions, the hamstring curl machine can build a lot of leg muscle. Make sure your nutrition is on point so you can walk the next day! Come and visit Gainiac Nutrition for all your recovery needs.

4. Dumbbell Fly

The dumbbell fly is a great way to target the chest. The bench press might be the number one chest exercise but it also calls upon the shoulders, back, triceps, and core. With the dumbell fly the only movement is at the shoulder joint so it isolates the chest. Try performing the exercise on an incline to incorporate more of the upper chest.

5. Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Technically you’re getting two exercises for the price of one here! Dumbbell lateral raises can either be done by raising your arms out to the side to target the lateral head of the deltoid. Or you can raise your arms in front of you to target the front of the shoulder (anterior deltoid).

Start Using These Isolation Exercises

These 5 isolation exercises are a must for anyone looking for better muscle building. Generally speaking, it is best to perform these exercises after compound movements, however, some workout plans incorporate them at the beginning of a workout to pre-fatigue the muscle before the bigger movements.

Be sure to check out our other articles for great tips for building a better and stronger you!

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