Benefits and 10 to try in your workout

Isolation exercises are the opposite of compound exercises: they only involve one joint. You are probably used to seeing both types of movements in your workouts. “For example, a triceps pullback is a very common isolation exercise that only involves the triceps – the arm bends and extends at the elbow and the triceps flexes,” says Miller.

But you can work your triceps and other muscles at the same time by doing a compound exercise such as a triceps pump. “Not only do you work your triceps as you bend and extend your elbow to lower and lift yourself up, but you also work your shoulders, back, abs and even biceps.”

As Thompson explains, “Compound exercises are great for a holistic training program, while isolation exercises can be performed to develop specific muscle groups.”

If you’ve ever lost your biceps into oblivion, you can already see the allure of compound movements. “Variety can be fun, engaging, and keep workouts interesting, leading to increased motivation and consistency, which in turn leads to long-term sustainable fitness goals,” says Thompson.

But besides being more interesting to perform, compound movements have several physical benefits that will pique your interest.

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Richard V. Johnson

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