The Difference Between Compound And Isolation Exercises

Building muscle and gaining strength is not an easy process. They require consistency, repetition, and a willingness to push past your limits. However, this doesn't mean that you can't have fun with weight training by switching up your routine. By changing your exercises once in a while, you can keep your routine challenging, fun, and fresh. This can be done by incorporating both compound and isolation exercises.

They may sound fancy, but are simpler than you think. Compound exercises are movements that involve multiple joints and muscles working together to help you complete the repetition, explains VeryWellFit. For example, bench presses and push-ups incorporate the chest, core, shoulders, biceps, and tricep (per Healthline). Isolation exercises are the opposite. They only utilize and focus on one specific muscle (via VeryWellFit). For example, a dumbbell bicep curl only works your biceps and nothing else, according to Men's Journal. There is so much discussion online about the difference between compound and isolation exercises and which are the best for muscle building.

Both exercises keep you fit and strong

Whether you are a professional bodybuilder or someone who is just starting to lift weights, compound exercises are a good type of exercise to build into your routine. Not only do they work out multiple muscles at once to save time, but they also burn more calories and improve intramuscular and intermuscular coordination, according to Healthline. In simple terms, intramuscular coordination is the way your muscle fibers work together within a certain muscle and intermuscular coordination is the coordination between whole muscle groups. The better your intermuscular and intramuscular coordination, the stronger you become (via Strong by Science).

However, compound exercises also have a simpler purpose — they mimic the movements you make every day, explains Squat Box Gym. You squat to pick up your child, reach up to grab something from a high shelf, or push a big box across the floor. Compound exercises not only grow muscle, but they allow you to be a more functionally fit human being in your daily life.

While compound exercises help to develop foundational fitness, they don't target a single muscle group. That's where isolation exercises come in. Working together with compound movements, isolation exercises are the perfect choice for targeting specific areas of your body, according to VeryWellFit. By using isolation exercises, you can focus on muscles that you're probably not using often