Compound Vs Isolation Exercises - What’s the Difference?

Compound Vs Isolation Exercises – What’s the Difference?

Hopefully by now you’ve read enough broscience articles to know just how important compound exercises are.

In fact, you probably read the title article and though “compound exercises are obviously better – they work more muscle groups!”

Well congrats, you’re right for once.

They definitely work more muscle groups but today we are going to talk about both compound and isolation exercises.

As you know, most training programs will be based around a series of compound exercises such as the bench press, squat, deadlift and overhead press.

These multi-joint exercises work several muscles groups at once and allow you to lift heavier weights.

For example the squat is known as the most effective exercises for building your quads.

While this is true

What many people don’t take into account is that they also work the glutes, back, core and to a lesser degree the upper body muscles.

Compound Vs Isolation Exercises - What’s the Difference?


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Isolation Exercises

Isolation exercises are designed to work a single muscle group.

This is helpful if you want to target a specific muscle.

Isolation Exercises include:

  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep extension
  • Calf exercises
  • Forearms exercises
  • Almost any tricep and bicep exercise
  • Trap exercises

Basically all exercises that only work 1 muscle at the time.

Given that the weight is generally lower and the movement simpler you can reduce your chance of injury.

Unlike the squat  which regularly gets performed incorrectly which leads to injuries, it’s pretty hard to mess up a barbell curl.

Isolation exercises are also helpful to even out muscle imbalances and to rehabilitate after an injury.

This is important to note because muscle imbalances are extremely common and often are the result of a previous injury.

You hurt one muscle and another has to step up and carry the load.

As a result, the injured muscle is weaker by comparison which puts you at further risk of injury down the road.

The longer you wait to address these issues the harder they will be to correct.

Therefore you will want to do your best to fix any of these imbalances as soon as possible.

While you can certainly work around muscle injuries you will only be limiting your long-term potential.

In addition to their benefits when it comes to preventing injuries, isolation exercises are also ideal for building mass on certain muscle groups.

While pull-ups are definitely a great back and bicep exercise you don’t see any pros recommend skipping bicep curls in favor of more chin-ups.

The truth is that to build a great bicep peak you need to isolate them and hit them from a variety of angles – chin-ups being one of them.

Similarly, while squats are definitely the most important leg exercise, many pros also do leg curls, leg extensions and calf raises to round out their legs.

When you are first starting out compound exercises are definitely the way to go.

Compound exercises include:

  • Deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Bench press
  • Overhead presses
  • Back rows
  • Dips
  • Lunges
  • Clean & jerk
  • Pull Ups

Compound exercises are exercises that work more than 1 muscle.

As you get bigger you will find isolation exercises become more and more important.

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This Is Important.

Testosterone determines how much muscle you can build.

Now let me explain.

With more testosterone levels you can build more muscle.

You will also build muscle faster.

Compound exercises release testosterone in your body.

When you are deadlifting or squatting your body is releasing testosterone.

Which means you will gain more muscle.

You can also release testosterone by consuming testosterone boosting ingredients.

That’s how you can build more muscle much faster.

If you take a testosterone boosting supplement you will raise testosterone levels.

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Building a Great Body

You can definitely improve your overall appearance by doing just compound or isolation exercises.

 However, if you want to build a truly impressive physique then you will want to incorporate both types of training.

Compound exercises like the squat, deadlift and bench press is where you will put on the most muscle and build your foundation.

Even as you start to get big you should continue these exercises as they will bring more gains.

Remember, these are natural movements for humans – squatting down, lifting something off the ground, pulling an object towards us, pulling ourselves up, etc.

With your compound exercises you will then want to add in isolation work as well.

This will help keep your physique looking balanced and help any lagging muscle group. As long as you incorporate both types of movements, follow a good diet and train with intensity you will be very pleased with your long-term progress.

You Learned this by reading our article:

You Learned That: Isolation exercises can help you build up single muscle groups

You Learned That: Compound Exercises hit more muscle groups and are superior to isolation exercises.

You Learned That: Compound exercises release testosterone which makes you build more muscle.

You Learned That: The best testosterone boosters on the market raise testosterone levels.

You Learned That: Using both compound & isolation exercises is a great way to build the best physique

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