Single Joint VS Multiple Joint Movements

Single Joint VS Multiple Joint Movements

As the name implies, a single-joint movement involves motion at only one joint. A good example is the preacher curl workout. When performed correctly, this bodybuilding exercise isolates the biceps by anchoring the entire body, allowing movement at only the elbow joint. A single-joint movement can be thought of as an isolation movement. Such movements typically concentrate on one particular muscle or muscle group and are frequently used for enhancing definition and developing striations.

Multiple-joint movements, as you may have guessed, involve motion of more than one joint and more than one muscle group. Multi joint movements are considered the "mass builders" in bodybuilding because they usually involve larger muscle groups and using heavier weights during the bodybuilding workout session.

The squat workout is a classic example. Motion at 3 joints is required to execute this exercise properly. Muscles of the hamstrings, buttocks and lower back contract to extend the hip joint as the weight is raised from the squatting position to standing upright.  Simultaneously, the quadriceps contract to extend the knee joint and straighten the legs, and the calves are involved in extension of the ankle joint (plantar flexion). With all this muscle activation happening at once, you can understand why doing heavy squats makes you feel like you've been run over by a bus.

When considering the joint movement(s) of a given exercise, keep in mind that performing single-joint movements becomes increasingly difficult as the target muscle group nears the torso. Distal muscle groups (biceps, triceps, calves, etc) are easier to isolate than proximal ones, such as those of the chest or back.

Exercises for the chest muscle, with certain exceptions, are predominantly multi joint movements. Most are pressing movements, requiring extensions of the elbow and contraction of the triceps. Single joint movements of the back, especially the latissimus dorsi, are even rarer. Contraction of the latissimus dorsi relies primarily on pulling movements. As you pull the weight closer to the body; the biceps muscle contract to bend the elbow.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

FREE Bodybuilding Tips and Advice



Get your Bodybuilding Supplements at discounted price

More Bodybuilding Workout Advice

Copyright 101 BodyBuilding All rights Reserved. Sitemap

All Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy