It’s time for a little FIT CHICKS Academy 101 and in this video, you’re going to be learning all about compound exercises versus isolation exercises and why they are both awesome and why they both need to be added to your workouts and to your programming.
First off is compound exercises.
So what are they? Basically they are any exercise that involves two or more muscle groups or joints. Basically, the larger muscle group is doing most of the work, but then it also recruits smaller muscle groups secondarily. So in terms of exercises, let’s look at a couple.
First, we have the chest press.
So the chest press, of course, the primary muscle group is the chest, but then it’s also using those smaller muscle groups like the shoulders and the triceps.
Or you can look at the squat. So the squat, of course, the big muscle group being used is the quads, but then it also recruits the lower back, the glutes, and the hamstrings as well.
If you’re trying to figure out if an exercise is a compound exercise, always look at things like pushing, pulling, squatting, and dead lifting. Because those involve two or more muscle groups or joints, those are considered as compound exercises.
Now let’s look at isolation exercises.
So unlike compound movements, which recruit two or more muscles or joints, isolation exercises only use one muscle or one joint. And they’re done in a way where all other muscle groups are typically avoided. So this really ends up targeting the muscle that you’re working.
In terms of examples, think about a bicep curl, so when you do a bicep curl, you’re just targeting the bicep muscle, or when you do a chest fly, you’re just targeting the chest, or for lower body, let’s say you’re doing a calf raise, you’re only targeting the calf muscle.
Essentially, when you’re looking at any exercises that are raising, curling or extending, they’re really focused on one muscle group and they’re typically isolation exercises.
When it comes to your personal training programming and your fitness programming, we like to include both compound movements and isolation exercises. However, we do like to focus more on those compound movements. And why is that?
Well, number one compound exercises, they mimic what’s called functional activity. That basically means things that you do in your everyday life, like getting up and sitting down. So doing an exercise like a squat or a dead lift, that’s going to make sure that you’re going to be really safe and efficient at doing that for the long haul.
Secondly, compound movements, they really increase the intensity of your workouts. Because you’re using so many muscle groups, what ends up happening is your heart rate is going to get a lot higher, you’re going to be burning a lot more calories, and your workouts are going to be harder.
Thirdly, compound movements also get you stronger quicker. Again, because we’re using so many different muscle groups and we’re engaging them in different ways, you’re going to progress a lot quicker. You also can get a full body workout in really easily and make sure that you are toning from head to toe.
Now, that being said, you still want to include isolation exercises. Why? Because they’re amazing to target specific areas. So for example, if you’re a bodybuilder and you’re looking to increase shape or size in a specific area, you want to do isolation exercises. Or if you’re someone who suffers from a muscular imbalance or an injury, this is a really great way for you to be able to rebuild strength where you’ve lost it.
So I always like to think of isolation exercises as a complement to my compound exercises. And when you do that, what ends up happening is you build a really great well-rounded program that not only is amazing functionally, but also aesthetically:)
Now if you love learning about fitness, ready to get certified, become a fitness and nutrition coach and build a biz you love, download our full program brochure at www.fitchicksacademy.com/fnebrochure
There is so much opportunity now more than ever so if you have the passion, let’s help you make it happen!
Laura & Amanda
Founders of FIT CHICKS Academy