Warrior Blogs

The difference between Compound and Isolation exercises

The difference between Compound and Isolation exercises

When doing resistance training in the Gym there are many types of exercises that you can choose from depending on which muscle group you wish to target. After reading this blog you will clearly understand the difference between Compound exercises and isolation exercises.


What is a Compound exercise?

For many people who are looking to gain strength and muscle mass, compound movements are a staple in their training programs. So what are they? Compound exercises involve using multiple muscle groups at the same time to perform an action. A great example of a compound exercise is the Deadlift. When performing a Deadlift you are not just using one muscle group, instead you are using your legs, arms, back and more. Compound exercises are great for building strength as they are movements that you can progress on by adding weight to the exercise over time. 

Pro's of Compound Exercises:

  • Great for building strength 
  • Burn more calories than an isolation exercise
  • Great for building muscle mass
  • More room for progressive overload
  • Less equipment is needed

Popular Compound Exercises 

  • Squat 
  • Bench
  • Deadlift
  • Overhead Press 
  • Lunges 
  • Dips
  • Pull-ups 
  • Incline Chest Press
  • Decline Chest Press


What is an Isolation exercise? 

As you can probably guess from the name, Isolation exercises target one specific muscle at a time. Isolations are usually done after your compound movements as they are not something you usually use to build strength but instead, you can use them focus on your weaker body parts. For example if you have just done some barbell squats (compound movement) you may follow this up by doing some hamstring extensions (isolation). By doing this you are going to be focusing completely on your hamstrings, whereas the squats would have been working your whole lower body. 

Pro's of Isolation Exercises

  • Less likely to get injured 
  • Can be used to fix muscle imbalance 
  • Strengthen Joints 
  • Focus on growing specific muscle groups
  • Can be done in a variety of ways (using machines and free weights).

Popular Isolation exercises

  • Lateral Raise 
  • Bicep curls 
  • Tricep extensions 
  • Skull crusher 
  • Face Pulls
  • Calf Raise 
  • Hamstring curls
  • Leg extension 
  • Cable Flys

Preparing for your next workout 

If you are looking to get in the gym and give some of these exercises a go, below you can find some supplements to set you up to smash your sessions.

Find more supplement on the Warrior website!

2022 bodybuilding compounds exercise fitness gym isolations lifting weights
Posted 03 Mar 2022