Making the most of your time at the gym is often essential if you have serious fitness goals and a busy schedule. When it comes to working your muscles, there are two different types of exercises to consider. Those are compound exercises and isolation exercises.
Compound exercises are those that require different muscle groups to work together.
Compound exercises are at the heart of functional fitness programmes, which are those that utilise movements that are likely used during day to day activities. In addition to utilising multiple muscle groups, exercises in this category are also multi-joint.
Isolation exercises use just one muscle group and also just one joint at a time.
Isolation exercises are particularly useful for physical therapy purposes, such as when a muscle imbalance has presented. This is something that can happen due to illness or injury, and also after certain surgical procedures. Some diseases can also cause muscular imbalances.
Why Choose Compound Exercises
Compound exercises are a good choice when you are looking to work your body as hard as possible during your allotted workout time.
When you are opting for compound exercises, as opposed to isolation exercises, then you will generally be burning more calories. Compound exercises are known to improve balance and coordination, as well as helping joint stability to develop. This is a great way to help to protect the body against injury if you are engaging in other sporting activities, and you will also likely find that your reaction time begins to improve.
As you continue using compound exercises for your workouts, you will notice that it takes longer to reach muscle fatigue, meaning you can workout for longer periods or at higher intensities. This will eventually lead to you being able to lift heavier and develop strength in a well-rounded way.
Best Compound Exercises
Some of the best compound exercises to choose from are:
Squats are an incredible full-body workout and one of the most well-known compound exercises in existence! This exercise activates over 200 muscles of the body, with the quadriceps being the main mover. The glutes, hamstrings, and calves also contribute greatly.
Lunges work all of the major muscles in the hips, glutes, and thighs. Holding weights whilst you do lunges forces the muscles of the upper body to engage too.
Deadlifts require almost every muscle group and joint in the body to participate, making this one of the ultimate compound exercises!
Doing deadlifts regularly is fantastic for your posterior chain, which is comprised of all of the muscles at the back of the body.
The shoulder press is one of the best exercises that you can do to build the strength of the shoulders. This exercise also requires the triceps and the back muscles, as well as the core to a lesser extent.
The pull-up is a tried and tested favourite when it comes to compound exercises. It is known to be amazing for building the back, biceps, and forearms.
To successfully do press-ups the chest muscles have to be used alongside the shoulders, triceps, and core. Other muscle groups also contribute in a less significant way.
Dips are fantastic for the triceps and also require the shoulders and chest to support this movement. With a slight adjustment to the angle of your body, your chest becomes the main muscle group for this exercise, with the triceps and shoulder assisting.
The bench press predominantly uses the muscles of the chest, but also requires the shoulders and triceps to get involved.
Why Choose Isolation Exercises
As mentioned above, if you are experiencing a weakness in a muscle or muscle group, then isolation exercises can help to get your body back to normal.
Increasing the size of a muscle group is the most common reason for targeting it with isolation exercises. This works because an isolation workout will focus on just that one muscle group, taking it to fatigue and really concentrating your efforts in one place.
Best Isolation Exercises
Some of the best isolation exercises to choose from are:
This exercise isolates the biceps.
This exercise isolates the shoulder muscles.
This exercise isolates the shoulder muscles.
This exercise isolates the hamstring muscles.
This exercise isolates the calf muscles.
Protect Against Injury
Working out regularly is an amazing way to preserve your health and keep your body strong and fit. It can also help you to avoid injury in your everyday activities.
If you do injure yourself whilst you are at the gym, or whilst participating in some form of sport, then a quick diagnosis and treatment plan can be the key to the best recovery. Click to check out the various sports care services that we provide!