What Are Compound Exercises?

Today’s fitness programs tend to focus on functional fitness, which refers to exercise that simulates real-life activities and uses a wide variety of movements through a wide range of motion.

At the heart of these routines are a variety of compound exercises. Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles or muscle groups at the same time.

What Are Isolation Exercises?

Isolation exercises work only one muscle or muscle group and only one joint at a time. These exercises are often performed with the commercial weight machines found in gyms.

The idea is to isolate one muscle group and move from one machine to the next until you “work” your whole body.

Isolation exercises are frequently used in physiotherapy clinics and rehab centres in order to correct a specific muscle weakness or imbalance that often occurs after injury, illness, surgery or certain diseases.

What are the benefits?

  • More calories burned during exercise
  • Simulates real-life exercises and activities
  • Allows you to get a full body workout faster
  • Improves balance, coordination and reaction time
  • Improves joint stability and improves muscle balance across a joint
  • Decreases the risk of injury during sports and other exercise
  • Keeps your heart rate up and provides cardiovascular benefits
  • Allows you to exercise longer with less muscle fatigue
  • Allows you to lift heavier loads and build more strength

What are the benefits?

  • Used for strengthening and mass building of an individual muscle by avoiding the connected muscles.
  • Bodybuilders normally use isolation exercises for healing the injuries sustained by specific muscles.
  • Isolation exercises help in stress reduction, enhanced focus, cardiovascular health improvement and complete relaxation of the muscles.

Why Use Compound Exercises?

For healthy athletes who are trying to get the most out of a training program, compound exercises are generally preferred and recommended.

Why Use Isolation Exercises?

Isolation exercises are often recommended to correct muscle imbalance or weakness that often occurs after an injury. Isolating a specific muscle is sometimes necessary to get it to activate and increase its strength.

Most healthy athletes will use compound exercises for the majority of a training program and use isolation exercises to complement that program as needed.

Examples of Compound Exercises

  • Squat
  • Lunge
  • Deadlift
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Push Ups
  • Chest Press
  • Dips

Examples of Isolation Exercises

  • bicep curls
  • tricep kickbacks
  • lateral raises
  • leg extensions

How can Beyond help?

  • Group Classes

How can Beyond help?

  • Personal Trainer sessions
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