Large muscle group (multi-joint exercises) then small muscle group (single-joint exercises) or vise versa? Do you need to do a pre-exhaust technique to see muscle gains like bodybuilders do? I know it can be confusing, especially if you are just starting to incorporate resistance training into your workout. I recently came across an article by Lean Kravitz, PhD, which I will reference below, that can help bring some light to these questions. This is just a short run down on what was found during it studies and I do recommend you read the whole article.
Let’s start by talking about what order to perform exercises. Most of the time you will hear perform the multi-joint exercise (example would be leg presses) first. Studies have shown that by performing them first then the single-joint, resistance lifted will be maximized. Yet at the same time the study did also indicate that exercises respond better to resistance early in the workout, so if you target is a single-joint area (example: calves) then those exercises should be performed first.
As for including a pre-exhaust technique into your program, it may not be needed. Bodybuilders have been using this technique for as long as I can remember. The belief is to perform a single-joint exercise before a multi-joint exercise to enhance muscle gains. What these studies found is that performance and strength of the muscle produced less activation then if they just performed the multi-joint exercise only.
I know this probably ended up longer than you wanted to read, so I will close with this. What I am trying to tell you is determine the order of exercise based on what you are trying to achieve and need for your training goals.
Simao, R., et al. 2012. Exercise order in resistance training. Sports Medicine, 42 (3), 251-65
Hi guys!! Welcome to my thoughts and just some health information that I hope you can use! Let me just state this now. I am not a writer, English major, or even a blogger, so there will be mistakes in here.