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Multi-Joint Dumbbell Exercises
Many people like to go to the weight room and start performing the standard isolation exercises either using a machine weight system or even free weights. Afterwards, they do a 20-30 minute cycle of cardio vascular exercise. Then, after a normal day of picking up groceries in/out of the car and into the house and some moderate yard work, they find themselves injured. Usually, this injury involves the lower back.
I have found after a few decades of training that the body really performs best when it is accustomed to movements not joint isolation exercises. There are training programs out there that focus on Core Development yet really perform standard isolation exercises like crunches or sit-ups and some back extensions.
Now, do not get me wrong, isolation exercises have their place as they are safe, effective ways to train muscles that need rehabilitating. They are also a great way to build a foundation of training that should inevitably lead to tougher movement exercises.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, check out how you can turn a bicep curl, military press, triceps extension into one steady movement involving several joints and balance if you try in standing on one leg. I call this one Multi-Joint Dumbbell #1 or MJDB#1:
Now add in a squat to the exercise and a real life movement of picking up something off the floor and lifting it over your head is developing into MJDB#2:
Even more challenging is the MJDB#3 where you add in a squat thrust and some pushups:
It may take some time to build up to MJDB#3, but as you can see all it took was some imagination and you turned a tired old set of dumbbells into a harder exercise full body movement program. As you progress with your program, add Olympic weight lifting, yoga, and any martial arts movements and you will see a difference in your entire body. Remember fitness is a journey - not a destination so visit a variety of programs.
Other related programs I recommend that teach movements compared to isolation exercises:
TRX - Suspension Training
Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the StewSmith.com Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at StewSmith.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs
BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
The Special Operations Workout
The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD
The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD
The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:
Fitness for All Levels of Fitness
The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program
The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
Navy SWCC Workout
Air Force PJ / CCT Workout
The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts
The USMC IST and PFT Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT
The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts
The Fire Fighter Workout