Do you know what's the number one question asked by inexperienced weight lifters when they discover a new exercise? It's " What muscle (s) does that work ?"
Unfortunately, this is probably the least useful question you can ask about a new component of a strength training workout. After all, the body is not simply a collection of parts. Just because muscles are separate and distinct does not mean they exist in isolation.
Actually, the parts of the body work together as one, and they're inseparable. When a new trainee tries to work out one part of the body without understanding this concept, he sets himself up for failure. Do not be the sort of weight lifter who is destined to fail. If you keep in mind a few simple facts, you'll make progress and be well on your way towards success.
Two basic types of weight-lifting exercises
Weight lifting moves can be divided into two categories: compound movements, and isolation movements.
Isolation moves involve only one muscle. They're familiar to most people because so many folks in the gym perform them. Some examples of isolation moves include biceps curls, triceps kickbacks, hamstring curls, and shoulder raises.
Compound movements, on the other hand, involve more than one muscle. They also require you to move at least 2 joints. Some examples are: squats, overhead presses, bench presses, and pull-ups.
Train movements not muscles
In the long term, it does very little good to use isolation moves. The people who conceptualize weight training as merely the act of training a muscle miss out on the larger picture.
They should be training movements like squats, bench presses, power cleans, and the like. This is the sort of exercise that gives long-repeating results, and with a half-dozen or so of these compound moves, they can get a full-body workout that can prepare them for virtually anything that life and / or sport throws at them .