What are compound movements and isolation movements?
The “compound action” is the action that can target more than one muscle group for exercise, while the “isolation action” is only for a single muscle group exercise action.
The most common bench press is a compound action, because it can work out to the pectoral muscles, triceps and deltoid anterior bundle; while the biceps curl is an isolated action, because it can only target training biceps.
NO.1 The advantages of compound action
The training volume is the key to muscle growth. Therefore, from the point of view of muscle building, compound movements have greater gains each time.
Also large weight low number of training, compound action will be safer than single joint isolation action, in other words, only compound action is suitable for large weight low number of training, isolation action should not be practiced with large weight low number at all. The effect of high weight and low reps training on muscle building has long been proven by research. Compound movements can promote the body to secrete growth hormones, the effect is better than single joint isolation movements.
NO.2 Flaws of compound movements
When doing compound movements, each muscle group is involved in a different degree, each action has a “major muscle group”, and this muscle gains the most, of course, other muscle groups have also been exercised, but because the degree of participation is not high, so the gains will not be as large as the major muscle group.
For example, although the push-up is the prime action to train the whole shoulder muscle group, the stimulation of the anterior deltoid muscle bundle is greater than the middle bundle, so if you only do the barbell push-up, it will inevitably cause an imbalance in the shoulder muscle group, and the development of the middle bundle of the deltoid muscle will be weaker than the anterior bundle.
NO.3 The advantages of isolation movements
Isolation movements are more specific to the muscles, and often compound movements do not allow for full training of all muscle groups, but “full training” is especially important for muscle building.
For example, although the hard pull is a good exercise for the whole body, but in the process of hard pull, no muscle is completely stretched and then completely contracted.
Compared to compound movements, isolation movements are less taxing on the nervous system. Obviously, after ten sets of leg extensions you can still talk and laugh, while after ten sets of squats you are afraid that your brain will go blank.
Just mentioned that compound movements have their own unique training pattern – large weight and low reps, while isolation training has its own special training pattern, that is, “exhaustion / high reps” training. Compound movements can rarely be trained to exhaustion with high weights because of the high risk factor.
Whose training is better?
Isolation movements are not necessary for novices because they do not build muscle as well as compound movements for the same muscle groups.
People are genetically different and everyone’s rest and diet can’t be exactly the same, so they can only be used as a reference, but also less for newbies who should train mainly with compound movements.