Today, we had someone ask a very common question, “What are the best exercises to do to get the fastest results?”
(And hopefully he’s also reading this)
This is a very important topic to cover because the answer to that question is: THERE ARE NONE. However, certain movements are better. Here’s why…
In order to build muscle, you must first engage that muscle. An example would be doing a ”pull” movement in order to engage your back muscles. Next, you must break that muscle down ENOUGH for repair to take place. With adequate nutrition, that muscle will heal very nicely and will adapt to the strain you have just put on it. So, in a sense, performing a bent over row should break down the same amount of muscle tissue as would a machine row.
Here’s the ‘BUT’ to all of this… First, when you perform any free range of motion exercise (as in, doing a barbell/dumbbell/cable exercise as opposed to a machine) you automatically engage more of the surrounding muscles. This is because stabilization is now required to perform the movement. You can think of the exercise as being harder to do; therefore, it can build more. Second, different exercises recruit different muscles. An example would be comparing the leg press and a leg extension. The leg extension incorporates only your quadriceps, whereas the leg press incorporates the majority of your lower body.
The tip here is to break the muscle down with a combination free motion AND machine exercises in order to then repair that muscle.
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