The Top 10 Isolation Exercises for Muscle Building
While multi-joint exercises are good for working out several muscle groups at a time, single-joint exercises are even better for building bigger and stronger muscles by focusing on one particular group at a time. They are also the best for developing strength in the weaker muscle groups.
Single-joint exercises are also called isolation exercise as the place more emphasis on a single muscle or group in a specific area. Their versatility allows them to be used in a variety of ways such as for pre-exhausting beginning workouts, pump-inducing burnout sets in the end and straight muscle-building volume workouts in the middle with innumerable intensity-boosters.
But being able to know which isolation exercises should be done out of several isolation exercises is difficult. Hence to aid you with that thought, here is a list of the top ten single-joint, isolation exercises that you should incorporate in your workout regime:
- The Dumbbell Fly
The main target of focus is the Pecs for this exercise. Your elbow should be maintained in a slightly bent position throughout the exercise or set so that the shoulder joint does all the work. Due to this fact it is therefore the best Pecs Isolation exercises.
However when performing single joint exercises you must lift lighter weights at first then move on to slightly heavier ones. The reason being- unlike multi-joint exercises where multiple muscle groups work to lift a potential weight, single joint movement limits the action to a single group, thereby limiting the weight that can be lifted.
- Standing Barbell Curl
The muscles targeted are the biceps and is one of the top bicep workouts. In fact EMG research has ranked this workout in the middle of the top 10 best biceps exercises.
- Pec-Deck Fly
Again the main target here is the pecs. This is done on a machine so that those who face problems in locking the slightly bent arm position and begin to use their triceps without being aware of it. Hence the machine helps you prevent this from happening giving you the full benefit of the isolation workout.
- Nordic Hamstring Curl
As indicated by the name, the target of focus is the hamstrings. Since the hamstrings are responsible for the knee flexion and hip extension, then instead of training only half the hamstring in multi-joint movements, train the full hamstrings with this tough isolation exercise.
- Leg Extensions
Targeting the quadriceps, this is the final leg assault workout. As an isolation exercise it decreases the fatigue experienced and makes balancing easy as compared to other standing multi-joint quad exercises. However, it is basically a knee extension which tends to make light-weight squats feel heavier.
Read: Leg Workouts at Home
- Straight-Arm Pull-Down
This one targets the Lats, exhausting them completely in the process of the workout. Remember to start off with lightweights. This exercise will definitely give your lats a serious pump.
- Reverse Pec-Deck Fly
The Main target in this exercise is will be the rear deltoids. While executing this movement you will really feel the contraction instead of a mere sling of weight. Since this is done on a machine, your muscles are stimulated with a 10% increase and you won’t be able to cheat the movement and lose the isolation exercises effectiveness.
- Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Similar to the previous exercise here the target is the middle deltoids. In fact, having to raise your arms directly to your sides just happens to activate only the middle deltoids.
- Cable Push-Down
Mainly targeting the lateral and medial heads of the triceps, in short a triceps isolation exercise. Like the top bicep exercise this is one of the top triceps exercise. It maximizes muscular activation of the lateral and medial heads along with emphasizing moderately on the long heads.
- Hamstring-Curl Machine
Another hamstring isolation exercise which requires the use of a machine to isolate the muscle groups of the hamstrings, bringing all the tension on it. Muscles are activated at high levels and you receive a good pump when high-level strategies are employed such as drop-sets and forced reps.
Overall these ten have been guaranteed to promote muscle growth along with development in strength consecutively improving your entire physique. So, including these single-joint isolation exercises into your training will surely benefit you in the long run.