Fitness Tips

Strength training tips, rule 3

By June 20, 2012 No Comments

Exercise order – perform high complex or unstable exercises first when strength training.

Complex and dynamic exercises (like a lunge, kettlebell throw, ballistic or balancing exercies) require more energy and greater neuromuscular co-ordination to perform safely and effectively when compared to isolation or more stable exercises. Thus compound and complex moves are best performed at the start of ay given session when you are fresh, both in a neural and metabolic way. This is especially true for beginners who potentially have a limited capacity to perform exercises well when fatigued, as well as having poorly established (or no!) motor patterns (technique) for the exercises.

Thus caution should be followed when putting strength training exercises in sequences that heavily involve the same stabilizing muscle groups, regardless of the prime movers or main muscle groups involved; an example of this poor exercise order would be a barbell squat, then a straight legged dead-lift followed by a bent over row. The lower back is a synergist in the first, a primary mover in the second and a synergist holding an isometric contraction in the third. The risk of injury to the lower back here is significantly increased. It would be better to throw in some pushing (chest press) in between the first and the last strength training exercise, while leaving the lower back exercise (straight legged dead-lift) in isolation to the end of the session. Supersetting exercises like this are also more time efficient, as muscles are allowed recovery while their opposing ones are trained.

Leave a Reply