Isolation exercises vs. Functional exercises
Posted on December 2, 2016 (12:54 am) by Dave Parise
The leg extension is an isolation exercise.
An isolation exercise is one where the movement is restricted to one joint and one muscle group. For example, the leg extension is an isolation exercise for the quadriceps. The other muscle groups are only minimally involved—they just help the individual maintain a stable posture—and movement occurs only around the knee joint. This has no application to true life.
Machine based exercises work several muscle groups at once, and include movement around two or more joints. For example, in the leg press movement occurs around the hip, knee and ankle joints. This exercise is primarily used to develop the quadriceps, but it also involves many stress factors which lead to muscular imbalances, and injury via it's dictated path of motion. I would never dictate a path of motion!
Machine base exercises generally are not similar to the ways that people naturally push, pull and lift objects, whereas functional exercises ( what we do here at Rp) feel more natural, and burn more calories!
The leg press is a fixed exercise.
Machine base exercises do not build the basic strength that is needed to perform everyday pushing, pulling and lifting activities. Functional exercises are useful for "rounding out" a routine, by directly exercising muscle groups that cannot be fully exercised in the machine based environment.
Swiss balls allow a wider range of free weight exercises to be performed. They are also known as exercise balls, gym balls, sports balls, therapy balls or body balls.
Unlike exercise machines, I teach function and true strength, they do not constrain users to specific, fixed movements. Exercise machines at the gym can go some way toward enhancing poor form. Moreover, since users need not concentrate so much on maintaining good form, they can strain or pull a muscle over time.
Some free weight exercises can be performed while sitting or lying on a Swiss ball. This makes it more difficult and benefits core and stability muscles, which helps to exercise the deep torso muscles that are important for maintaining a good posture. Unlike a machine at the gym which acts as an external stabilizer, the body never has a chance to incorporate balance, or any core muscles.
There are a number of exercise machines that are commonly found in neighborhood gyms. The Smith machine is a barbell that is constrained to move only vertically upwards and downwards. There are also exercise-specific weight machines such as the leg press. A multi gym includes a variety of exercise-specific mechanisms in one apparatus. Most are plate loaded and fix you in one specific position.
One limitation of many exercise machines is that the muscle is working maximally during only a small portion of the lift. Some exercise-specific machines feature an oval cam (first introduced by Nautilus) which varies the resistance so that the resistance, and the muscle force required, remains constant throughout the full range of motion of the exercise. This type of force load application is called accumulative stress process. While function or moving freely (no dictation) has the greatest carryover to real life and the most benefits. Machines are more fixed during the path of push and pull.
Fit Pros Academy concurs with the differential between what the human body needs for an active lifestyle vs. "the assembly line of non-supervised one-size-fits-all gym arena.
A one of the more common goals is to increase strength by lifting heavy weights. Other goals such as rehabilitation, weight loss, body shaping, and bodybuilding often use lower weights, adding aerobic character to the exercise.Except in the extremes, a muscle will fire fibres of both the aerobic or anaerobic types on any given exercise, in varying ratio depending on the load on the intensity of the contraction. This is known as the energy system continuum. At higher loads, the muscle will recruit all muscle fibres possible, both anaerobic ("fast-twitch") and aerobic ("slow-twitch"), in order to generate the most force. However, at maximum load, the anaerobic processes contract so forcefully that the aerobic fibers are completely shut out, and all work is done by the anaerobic processes. Because the anaerobic muscle fibre uses its fuel faster than the blood and intracellular restorative cycles can resupply it, the maximum number of repetitions is limited. In the aerobic regime, the blood and intracellular processes can maintain a supply of fuel and oxygen, and continual repetition of the motion will not cause the muscle to fail. Circuit weight training is a form of exercise that uses a number of weight training exercise sets separated by short intervals. The cardiovascular effort to recover from each set serves a function similar to an aerobic exercise, but this is not the same as saying that a weight training set is itself an aerobic process.
Dave Parise #FitnessFixer