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by Taylor Tollison

In part one of this series we talked about lifting weights to get strong.  In this article we are getting more into the concept of movements vs. muscles.  We are also delving more into the idea of single joint vs. double or multi joint exercises. 

Before I move on with this point let me explain what I mean by one joint or two (multi) joints because you are about to see it a lot. I also want to add that I am not saying that all single joint exercises are bad.

First of all, another way to look at it, and probably a better way, is to think about training movements not muscles. In some areas you would think I want to train my biceps, triceps, quads, hamstrings etc. There is really nothing wrong with thinking like that if you choose the correct exercise. But if you think movements and multi joint exercises then you are more apt to choose exercises that will have a greater carryover to the field and give you more bang for the buck.

During a game your body is about movements not muscles. We even think that way when talking about it. When we talk about athletic movements in a game we think running, cutting, jumping, kicking. We donít say look at how that guy uses his glutes while running around the field. On the opposite side of things when we start training in the weight room we think muscles not movements. It's backwards isnít it? From now on start to think movements not muscles when training in the weight room. Iíll give examples in the next article of movements vs. muscles.

Now back to single joint vs. multi joint. A one joint exercise is more apt to train fewer muscles, moves at only one joint, and gives you less bang for your buck. An example of a one (single) joint exercise is the leg extension. In the leg extension you sit on a machine and lift your legs up in front of you. It isolates the quads but only moves at the knee joint. What is a better exercise for the quads? Squat! In the squat you work the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and more.

In the next article I'll provide some examples of movements vs. muscles so you can make sure you are picking the right exercises.