Fitness Post – Exercise Comparisons 3

In this Post I will compare Single Fulcrum exercises with Compound exercises. So the classic single fulcrum exercise is the Biceps Curl as compared with a Compound Upper Body exercise such as the Pull Up (remember that the reason I call it a Pull Up instead of a Chin Up is because the latter term has the connotation that the end range of the movement being that the chin is pulled to the bar when it should be the chest). 

Another example of a Single Fulcrum exercise for the Lower Body would be a Leg Extension or a Leg Curl as compared with the various forms of Step Ups, Squats and Deadlifts. So to compare the two types of exercise – 

  • There is an obvious difference between the two types of exercise in that the loading is over one joint with the Single Fulcrum exercises where the loading is shared over several joints in the Compound exercises. This sharing of loading is safer and a lot of injuries occur with the pressure being put over the one joint in the Single Fulcrum exercises.
  • The Compound exercises are more natural movements as compared with the Single Fulcrum exercises because in the latter type this movement rarely occurs in everyday movement patterns. So if the reason you are doing a resistance program is general then you gain more out of the Compound movements.
  • Which brings me to the third point in that more muscle groups are used in the Compound exercises as compared with the Single Fulcrum exercises therefore your workouts can be quicker and more intense. This point lines up with the concept of the applicability of Compound exercises in relation to the natural gross movements made in everyday life and most sports.
  • An example of when Single Fulcrum exercises coming to the fore would be when they are used in a Rehab program if you need to work around an injured body part or when you need to strengthen a specific body part because of an imbalance between antagonist (opposing) muscle groups or a specific weakness.

Both types of exercises have their uses in a general resistance program but most people doing a resistance program would get more out of using the Compound exercises as compared with the Single Fulcrum exercises.


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