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why does everyone here see isolation exercises as the devil??

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  • why does everyone here see isolation exercises as the devil??

    dont get me wrong, i fully understand the huge importance of compound movements when trying to improve strength, size and flexibility. as such, these form the majority of my weekly workout regime. however i do many other isolation exercises in a balanced way over the week to target certain muscles in a certain way at a certain time.

    i see many posts on here where people put on there workout routine which includes both compound lifts and isolation work and immediately everyone on here tells them to ditch the isolation exercises.

    my questions is why? if they are done in a way so as to not cause any muscular imbalances then whats the problem?

  • #2
    no one sees them as the devil, and they certainly have their applications. but what is pure evil is doing isolation hoping to get jacked or strong. you have to do compound lifts to build your strength base and then focus on whatever you want to isolate.

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    • #3
      Isolation exercises aren't bad, they just aren't as effective or efficient as compound movements. Since most people want to get as much bang for their buck as possible, they are better sticking with compound movements. If you only have a couple hours a week to devote to fitness, you're not making the best use of your time by doing isolation work. But like you said, if you're doing your compound lifts and you have extra time and energy afterward then feel free to throw in all the biceps curls and lateral raises that you like.
      "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

      "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

      My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

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      • #4
        I don't have access to a squat rack and I have Scheuermann's disease (kyphosis, my spine is curved), so compound moves are very hard for me. I guess I'll be a weakling forever....

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        • #5
          Damn bro. Are you sure you can't squat with that? I saw pics of a guy with wicked scoliosis once and he was massive, squatting hundreds upon hundreds of pounds.

          We need someone else to shine a light on this kyphosis and squat business.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Al_Kavadlo View Post
            Isolation exercises aren't bad, they just aren't as effective or efficient as compound movements. Since most people want to get as much bang for their buck as possible, they are better sticking with compound movements. If you only have a couple hours a week to devote to fitness, you're not making the best use of your time by doing isolation work. But like you said, if you're doing your compound lifts and you have extra time and energy afterward then feel free to throw in all the biceps curls and lateral raises that you like.
            What Al said. My training is always Squat, Bench, assistance work or Deadlift, Press, assistance work. That way, if I'm short on time, the main lifts get hit, the assistance work goes out the window. And I prioritize within the assistance work so the more important stuff like Rows get hit first. At the very end, if I have time and energy, I'll do a few sets of curls.

            And it's not that they're the devil (I am!) it's just that why spend a lot of time on muscles that make up such a small percentage of your body llike biceps and calves? A well-programmed training session should be less than an hour, and involve no more than 4-5 exercises or movements. If I'm focusing on biceps, I'm missing out on more important muscles, such as the forearms.

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            • #7
              I'm sure I could work up to it....but I have bad hip and hamstring flexibility (my body's way of compensating.) I think I have anterior pelvic tilt as well. Kyphosis isn't side to side, its front to back. The problem is I LITERALLY can't straigthen my back. I'm the second diagram from the left...Scheuermann's disease: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/uplo...osis_large.jpg

              I'm sure I could hire a personal trainer/go to a physical therapist to get my hamstrings and hips super flexible, wear a brace to correct the pelvic tilt, and get weekly messages/adjustments to make my thoracic spine more mobile.....but would all that time/money be worth squating a metal bar and some plates 5 times in a row? I'm not so sure.

              Does anyone know some compound moves, either with weights or bodyweight, that can replace squats/deadlifts? (Sorry if I'm hijacking the thread.)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CoS View Post
                Does anyone know some compound moves, either with weights or bodyweight, that can replace squats/deadlifts? (Sorry if I'm hijacking the thread.)
                You might be able to try working up to a pistol squat by starting with a self-assisted version (click the link!).
                "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

                sigpic

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                • #9
                  can't forget the forearms Abu... freaking hilarious! you mean you don't devote an entire day to forearms?

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                  • #10
                    I'm going to start doing finger walks with a sledge hammer for grip and forearms. It burnssssss

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                    • #11
                      we're all going to start looking like popeye!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dado View Post
                        Damn bro. Are you sure you can't squat with that? I saw pics of a guy with wicked scoliosis once and he was massive, squatting hundreds upon hundreds of pounds.

                        We need someone else to shine a light on this kyphosis and squat business.
                        My husband has Scheuermann's disease, too, and he has a lot of issues with it. (Curvature of the spine causes a lot of health issues.) It's like scoliosis, but instead of the spine being curved to the side, it's curved facing forward. He had to have surgery as a teen to remove a rib and place it along his spine to keep his back straight. My husband is lucky, in that they caught it while he could still attempt a correction with what technology they had in 1986. I think they use titanium rods now instead of ribs.

                        My husband says that doing squats on a seated machine is possible for him, but there are many factors involved in whether someone else could, including how late it was caught, whether doctors were able to attempt a correction and what kind they could do. He was a football and basketball player before he was diagnosed but was told not to play either, because they could cause him to 'snap his backbone'. Doesn't sound pleasant. CoS is probably being wise in not squatting without access to a machine that would protect his spine. The spinal column is not something most of us would want to take a chance on messing up.

                        Personally, I'd rather not squat than be confined to a wheelchair or dead. (I should say my husband cautions me that's not necessarily how it is in every case, just his. )
                        Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.

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