The Barbell Strength, Barbell Tone and Hybrid Strength Training Journeys are mainly focused on compound lifts. They offer you the most bang for your buck when your goal is muscle gain and strength development. However, if we only rely on the “Big 3” - the squat, bench press and deadlift - to build a healthy and strong body, then we’re going to be limiting ourselves. While these 3 exercises train almost every muscle in the body, they do not take care of muscular imbalances and asymmetries.
Why we all need isolation work
Whether it’s due to extreme training, sports, pain, injuries or sitting at a desk for 8 hours straight, everyone has imbalances and asymmetries. The results are usually tightness, lack of strength or lack of muscular development in some areas. This can lead to poor performance on the compound lifts and even injury.
Isolation exercises specifically target the rear shoulder and back muscles, the core and the glutes to correct some of the most common muscular imbalances. In our Training Journeys, we especially attend to two areas of the body that benefit greatly from isolation work.
No one wants to look like quasimodo
Poor posture is a challenge everyone faces these days. Especially the shoulders and upper back suffers. Prolonged sitting and slouching can lead to all sorts of aches and pains. Not only does it look unattractive, it can also increase our risk of injury.
Isolation exercises help you to balance out the muscles in your upper body. Usually the front of the body is very strong. The chest and front delts are well trained by doing a lot of bench and shoulder presses. The other side of the body, however, sometimes gets neglected - maybe because we can’t see it in the mirror. Especially the lower traps, rhomboids and rear delts require additional work. These muscles are usually undertrained. That’s why you will find a lot of exercises that strengthen the back of your shoulders and open up your thoracic spine.
Sore lower backs have no place here
Most people have suffered back pain at some point in their lives. There is no feeling worse than being afraid to stand up or bend forward because you know your back is going to hurt. It can affect almost every daily activity.
Two muscle groups that can positively influence lower back health are the glutes and the core. If we strengthen these areas, then they can take load of the spine and protect it during training and daily activities. In our Training Journeys we therefore focus on exercises that isolate the core and the glutes to improve lower back health, but also boost your strength on the compound lifts.
Isolation exercises work hand in hand with compound lifts
Isolation exercises are all about balance. They will certainly improve your performance in the compound lifts. A strong core will certainly help to improve your deadlifts, but most importantly, it will bulletproof you against injuries and help to keep your body healthy. Isolation exercises improve your posture, bring up lagging body parts and clear out the most common muscular imbalances.
Isolation exercises to target imbalances
The best exercises to improve your posture and target asymmetries and imbalances are upright rows, plate twists, planks/side planks, supermen and shoulder pullups. So try adding these to your workout today and bulletproof your body.