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Compound Vs Isolation Exercises

Posted on 31 October 2016

Compound Vs Isolation Exercises

Which exercises you choose when planning your workout plays a really important role to help you achieve your goals. We want to maximize our workouts in the time we have.

Isolation exercises are a fantastic and effective way of zoning in on a specific area, for example triceps. Now, I actually really enjoy training triceps but there is a difference between a tricep extension and a compound exercise which includes triceps which is the tricep dip. Compound exercises are much more effective for toning, strengthening and burning those calories all in one!

I like to use a combination of the 2 exercises in both my training and my clients programmes. Let’s look a little further…

Isolation Exercises

Isolated exercises are just that… Isolated. They are single joint movements that only target one muscle group at a time. This means that with this movement you are stimulating less muscle fibers compared to a compound exercise. A benefit of this is that you can really work on a single muscle group and not over train other areas that may need a rest.

Isolation exercises include:


  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep extensions
  • Leg extensions
  • Hamstring Curls


Compound Exercises

Compound exercises incorporate a wider muscle group in the movement. They are usually more closely related to your everyday movements and utilize multiple joints at a time. Therefore you are burning more, gaining more and can do less exercises to gain the results you want!

Examples of compound exercises include:

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Lunges
  • Pulls ups
  • Push ups

So next time you are planning your workouts, make sure you add in compound exercises to make up the base of the workout – if you do that you will then be making the most out of your time at the gym.

Got it? I hope so! Any questions feel free to email me or tweet me!



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