When you start working out, you will probably hear that there are “compound” and “isolation” exercises. But what are they actually and when should you use which?
Compounds Should Be Your Staple
Compounds are exercises that work many muscles at once, while an isolation mainly targets one muscle. An example for a compound would be push-ups, that work your chest, triceps and the frontal portion of your shoulders, while kickbacks would be an example for an isolation, as they only train one muscle: your triceps.
If you do too many isolations, you may end up with a physique that doesn’t look, shall we say, “organic”, because you may not train the muscles in proportion, develop imbalances and could end up with a biceps that doesn’t look like it goes together with your triceps.
This means that the staple of your workouts should be compounds, where many muscles work at once and all of them will be complimentary to one another.
No Isolations At All?
Does that mean isolations have no room at all in a workout. No, there are two instances where isolations are vital:
- If you worked out for a quite a while and notice a specific body part is lagging behind
- If a body part was injured and needs to catch up
Here is the video to this article:
Picture courtesy of Mike Baird.