Isolated exercises versus compound exercises

Muscle growth is based on two types of exercises, those that work the muscles in isolation and that strive to multiple groups at the same time.

There is room for both types of exercises within bodybuilding as both are part of the modality and complement each other, but insist, or not, in the general or specific muscle work depends on the goal you want to achieve.

Muscle growth

Let’s start by multi-joint or compound exercises. This type of movement requires the intervention of greater quantity of muscles and muscle fibers. These are most recommended exercises for those who want to increase their muscle mass generally, as these ideas are the training phases in which the main goal is a greater muscle gain. The increased production of testosterone, as well as a higher calorie burn is stimulated by performing multi-joint exercises and become essential in obtaining faster muscular hypertrophy.

Compound exercises are movements such as squats, which work simultaneously the bottom of body and lower back, or the bench press, which movements work chest, shoulders and triceps.

Compound exercises have the advantage that, by strengthening muscles in general, constitute a solid basis from where muscle can improve performance in other physical activities, other types of sport or to work isolated from each muscle. Fewer repetitions are advised for these exercises.

Muscle definition

What if your goal is muscle definition? Bodybuilding expert’s advice to give more attention to isolated exercises, working one muscle at a time, by performing a large number of repetitions in each.

Isolated exercises recruit fewer muscle fibers and focus in specific muscle, using for this purpose techniques such as concentration or extension curls.

Bodybuilders specially opt for this kind of training focusing in areas of the body that need to be worked in order to get a symmetrical body.

But ideally, the training conduct is not always a single type of exercises. The ideal is to combine compound exercises with isolated exercises, so that your muscles get more stimuli, which allow its continued development.

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