Intentional use of isolation exercises helps accomplish very specific fitness and health related goals. However, misuse of isolation exercises could be harmful or at the very least waste a lot of time.
Just like most efforts, a conceptual problem in the definition of isolation exercise causes both the beneficial use and even harmful abuse.
Through isolation exercises, we can improve very specific areas in our sports activity.
For example, in bodybuilding focusing on concentrated curls helps develop the peak on biceps muscles or focus on the last part of leg extension exercise helps develop separation in quadriceps.
You can find hundreds of isolation exercise variation for any sports activities. However, using isolation exercises is not limited to sports.
In ankle and knee injury rehabilitation, calf raises, leg extensions and leg curls are isolation exercises that help return the ankle and knee joint to their full range or motion or as close as possible.
To get a feel for what an isolation is and what it is not, we need first to look at the definition.
Isolation is both the act of separating from others and the state of being separated from others.
In the movies, you see that the prison guards drag a trouble making prisoner into a cell that is “isolated” from others.
A prisoner in isolation cannot connect with others, and that is where the term isolation exercise falls apart.
Can you isolate a part of your body or a motion completely from the rest of your body?
The answer is no.
You can increase your focus on a single muscle and a particular part of your motion, and you can decrease the engagement of other muscles and increase the precision of your movements.
However, the body remains one complete unit with every part engaged with every motion.
Isolation exercises definition in reality become a process of focus and precision and not necessary separation.