What is a compound exercise?
A compound exercise is any exercise that works multiple muscle groups simultaneously. For example, a squat is a compound exercise because it hits the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core stabilizing muscles.
What is an isolation exercise?
An isolation exercise is any exercise that only works one single muscle group at a time. For example, bicep curls are an isolation exercise, because the only muscle it hits are the biceps.
What are the benefits of compound exercises over isolation exercises?
While both types of exercises have their pros and cons, it is generally accepted in the fitness community that compound exercises are good for building overall strength & power, while isolation exercises are good for targeting “problem” areas, or a single area you’d like to see growth in.
Here at Cody, we’re fans of compound exercises. Here’s why:
- They’re efficient: You’re hitting multiple major muscle groups all at once, which saves a lot of time in your workout.
- They’re keep things simple: With compound exercises, you can get away with performing 3-5 different moves at the gym and be done.
- They reduce the risk of over-training: Single body part exercises have a tendency to cause overtraining, which interferes with your results. Compound exercises make it easy to schedule in rest & recovery.