What is fitness training?

“Sports training to maintain or improve physical performance”.

So fitness training is any kind of exercise?! If I go for a walk and always cover the same distance in the same time, I maintain my personal physical performance at exactly this level! Or I always curl my biceps with 10 repetitions per side with a 10 kilogram dumbbell.

We are missing some important elements in this view of things:

  • New stimuli
  • Different forms of training
  • Training goals

In order to improve the 11 athletic skills permanently, to stimulate my muscle growth and to maintain the fun, new stimuli in fitness training are indispensable. New stimuli can be set in many different ways. On the one hand, the training weight or the number of repetitions can be varied; on the other hand, completely new stimuli can also give a powerful boost to fitness training.

Also constant variance belongs to it – sometimes more and higher volume training and sometimes less.

Also not to be neglected are the characteristics of the training units. Are more aerobic parts or anaerobic parts required, more strength and strength endurance or maximum strength? Here, too, systematic mixing is the best way to achieve the best results.

Individual goals are also an essential part of the fitness training program. Without goals and their success control, no goal-oriented fitness or athletic training is simply possible.

Isolating exercises

Isolating exercises are exercises in fitness training in which a single muscle works. Only one joint is moved. The classic one, for example, is the “biceps curl”. Isolating exercises are suitable in the rehabilitation area or for beginners for whom a basic exercise (multi-joint exercise) is still too complex, or even medically not possible, for example due to injuries.
Isolating exercises are particularly common in bodybuilding, as the focus is on muscle mass formation and the exercises are not based on muscle chains or complex exercises.

The advantages of isolation exercises are:

  • very precise loading of the target muscle through less cooperation of
  • tabilizers and secondary muscles
  • Ability to compensate for vulnerabilities
  • easier practice
  • lower risk of injury
  • just to name a few

In addition to the advantages mentioned, which apply almost exclusively to classical bodybuilding, they also have disadvantages:

lower calorie consumption
for maximum strength and fast mass building, multi-joint exercises are more effective
no additional cardiovascular training
no functional exercises: In contrast to multi-joint exercises, isolation exercises have little or little to do with everyday movements

Multi-joint exercises and movements are much more suitable for training athletic abilities comprehensively.

Multi-joint exercises

Multi-joint exercises (basic exercises) not only improve strength, but also mobility and intermuscular coordination. In addition, multi-joint exercises support functional training and are easy on the joints. Multi-joint exercises also make it possible to train in a shorter time with higher loads, which the moving weight is distributed over several muscles and joints.

A further advantage can be seen in the fact that in addition to the stressed muscles of the muscle chain, so-called stabilizers are also involved in the movement as auxiliary muscles.

Since every (or almost every) original human movement is multi-jointed, there is some reason to train multi-jointed. The 5 basic exercises are:

  • Squat
  • pull-up
  • deadlift
  • bench press
  • shoulder press

In addition to the exercises mentioned, there are numerous variants. These will be examined later.

Connection of muscle chains

If we look at the human body, we see that it is an extremely complex structure.

Muscle chains consist of a complex combination of muscles that are structurally and functionally connected by fasciae.

Our body consists of different muscle chains: one front, one rear, one spiral and two lateral. The front and rear muscle chains run almost straight from the head to the feet. This is why they are also called “vertical” muscle chains. Together, the vertical and lateral muscle chains allow the body to straighten and stabilize when standing. When walking, however, the body is ideally stabilised and straightened by the spiral-shaped muscle chains.

Muscle chains and their function

In order to understand how muscle chains function, the first question to be answered is what function the muscle chains have. While individual muscles have the task of moving or stabilizing a single joint, muscle chains focus on working together to stabilize joints and make movements more efficient.

Muscle chains stabilize and straighten the entire body. Although the muscle chains and muscle groups are sometimes not directly connected, they work together. This happens because most of the muscles of the human body are indirectly connected to fasciae. When a muscle is activated at a point in the body, special fibres in the muscle capture this tension and transmit the information to the nervous system.

There, the information is processed and converted into muscle activity.

Only then is it possible for the muscles along the muscle chain to transmit the muscle tension. Recent studies have shown that without the use of fasciae and the muscle chains involved, the high loads such as in Olympic weightlifting would otherwise not be possible.

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