So, what’s the difference between compound exercises and isolated exercises? When should each be used? How often? Let’s dive in ..

  • Compound Exercises:
    • What does this mean?
      • A compound exercise is any exercise that involves the use of more than one major muscle group at a time. Typically, there is one larger muscle group that ends up doing the majority of the work, and then one or more smaller muscle groups that are recruited secondarily.
    • What are some examples?
      • Flat, Incline or Decline Bench Press (barbell, dumbbell or machine)
        • Primary Muscle Group: Chest
        • Secondary Muscle Groups: Shoulders, Triceps
      • Overhead Shoulder Press (barbell, dumbbell or machine)
        • Primary Muscle Group: Shoulders
        • Secondary Muscle Group: Triceps
      • Squats (many variations)
        • Primary Muscle Group: Quads
        • Secondary Muscle Groups: Most Of Lower Body (Glutes/Hamstrings), Lower Back
    • Basically, if an exercise involves pushing, pulling, squatting or deadlifting, it’s usually training more than one major muscle group, and that makes it a compound exercise.
  • Isolated Exercises:
    • What does this mean?
      • An isolation exercise is any exercise in which only one major muscle group is trained by itself. Typically, the movement is done in such a way where usage of all other muscle groups is avoided, which leaves one muscle group isolated and able to do all of the work.
    • What are some examples?
      • Lateral Raises or Front Raises (dumbbell, cable or machine)
        • Muscle Group Trained: Shoulders
      • Biceps Curls (barbell, dumbbell, cable or machine)
        • Muscle Group Trained: Biceps
      • Triceps Extensions (barbell, dumbbell, cable or machine)
        • Muscle Group Trained: Triceps
      • Leg Extensions
        • Muscle Group Trained: Quads
      • Leg Curls
        • Muscle Group Trained: Hamstrings
      • Calf Raises
        • Muscle Group Trained: Calves
    • Basically, if an exercise involves raising, curling or extending, it’s usually training just one major muscle group, and that makes it an isolation exercise.

So, what’s the breakdown??

  • If your primary goal is performance related (increasing strength, improving performance, etc.), then compound exercises should comprise the majority of your workout routine. Isolation exercises should be greatly limited or possibly avoided completely.
  • If your primary goal is looks related (building muscle, losing fat, getting “toned,” etc.), then compound exercises should comprise the majority of your workout routine and get your primary focus. However, a secondary focus on isolation exercises is fine and in some cases, maybe even ideal.
  • If you are a beginner with ANY goal, then compound exercises should comprise the majority of your workout routine. Isolation exercises should be kept to a minimum or possibly avoided completely.

If you want to read more of the article I am speaking from, check it out here: http://bit.ly/2sfpjAB! I highly recommend it.

Further, when you are ready and feel you want assistance in directing your workouts and progression towards your health, fitness, and wellness goals, reach out to me! There is only one more day left in the May promotion – Spring into Summer!

Start now! Kickstart yourself into a more confident place this summer with your health and fitness, and beyond!

I look forward to connecting further with you and learning & exploring working towards your goals with you!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s