what are isolation and compound exercises

What are Isolation and Compound Exercises?

If you’ve read our latest articles, you’ve probably already know ways to improve your diet, and you’ve had some ideas on what’s important when working out. Now, it’s time to get down to business! Get ready to understand what are isolation and compound exercises, besides some points you should focus on.

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Compound Or Isolations Exercises: Understanding The Concept

First of all, let’s get to the concept. Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that simultaneously hit multiple muscle groups, while isolation exercises target one specific muscle group.

An excellent example of a compound exercise would be squat, which works the core, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. On the other hand, an example of an isolation exercise is the biceps curl, as it works exclusively on the biceps.

Should I Do Compound Or Isolation Exercises?

The answer is both. Compound exercises allow you to burn some extra calories, in addition to improving your balance, intramuscular coordination, flexibility, and strength. In addition, isolated exercises are great for hypertrophy, as they allow you to hit one muscle with much more intensity, providing more definition to a specific area.

The best way to understand which exercises you can incorporate into your workout is to identify which movements you can execute properly.

Isolation and Compound Exercises: Tips for Beginners

These are some tips I wish I had heard when I was getting started, so check it out!

1. Learn and Strength Yourself First

If you’re at the beginning of your fitness journey, it’s essential to understand how to perform the movements correctly. We strongly recommend you look for a personal trainer to ensure you learn and do the right thing for your body.

Once you know what you are doing and work out consistently, you’ll begin to progress the load naturally, and consequently, build muscle mass. Therefore, it is important to have professional help. It is the knowledge of your body that will allow you to keep going on your fitness journey.

You must do exercises that you can perform correctly, with a full range of motion. Pay attention to your body and posture at all times – especially when you’re progressing loading.

2. Start With The Basics

A few compound exercises can give the foundation to build strength over time and, consequently, muscle mass. Some good examples are push-ups, dips, squats, dead-lifts, and pull-ups. By mastering exercises like these, you ensure that your body builds muscle mass, besides improving your posture, core strength, flexibility, and mobility.

These are good exercises for a home workout, in case you don’t have access to a gym. Also, the difficulty can easily be increased with bands, dumbbells and cheap gym gear you can have at home. These exercises can provide a full-body workout if you know how to do them correctly.

3. Full Range Of Motion

Full range of motion is the act of moving as far as anatomically possible during the exercise, and that’s precisely what you should be looking for. When you put on more load than you can handle and end up doing some short reps poorly, you are sabotaging your gains. First, focus on the range of motion and then the load. That will help you to build strength and muscle mass.

4. Recognize Your Limitations

If you do an exercise incorrectly, you won’t hit the muscle as you should, so there’s even less chance for gains. The second and main reason: you will get hurt. My advice is: be humble and acknowledge your limitations.

Everyone has been a beginner once, so don’t be ashamed of your journey. Focus on doing what is right for your body.

5. Quality Over Quantity

You won’t get strong doing 50 poor reps with a heavy load. What will allow you to build muscle mass is doing as many reps as you can, just correctly, with full range motion and intensity. Your results will depend on the quality and not quantity.

Stop counting your reps and worry about doing the exercise correctly until the muscle fails.

Choosing Isolation and Compound Exercises

Resuming, one of the main advantages of compound exercises is the fact that there is a lot of core engagement. Having a strong core improves your posture, stability, and balance, minimizing problems like back pain and reducing the risk of injury.

This doesn’t mean you should stop doing isolation exercises. To build muscle mass, you must keep progressing the load to target muscle more intensely. Therefore, isolation exercises are an excellent tool to work on underdeveloped or asymmetrical muscles. If you want bigger biceps, it may be more efficient to focus on biceps curl (isolation) than pull-ups (compound), for example.

Your strategy should depend more on exercises that you can perform perfectly. Work hard so you can diversify your workout with isolation and compound exercises.

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