Multi-Joint vs. Single-Joint Exercises

Friday, November 27, 2009 22:02
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Multi joint vs single joint What’s the difference between multi-joint and single joint exercises?

After my last post on why free weights are better than machines I briefly spoke about how free weights allow you to do multi-joint exercises while machines mainly force you into single joint movements.

The easiest way to think about multi versus single-joint exercises is by focusing on the names alone. Multi refers to more than one joint while single-joint movements place most of the force on just one joint.

For example when you perform a barbell back squat you are using many joints and loading many points on your body (ankle, knee, hip, etc). However, when you sit down on a leg extension machine and put your ankle under the pad and flex your knee to straighten your leg and squeeze your quadriceps you are putting the stress on one main joint – the knee.

Tomorrow, I’ll explain how just one multi-joint exercise can work more muscle than doing 3 single-joint exercises!

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