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4 Reasons Why Compound Exercises Are Better Than Isolated

Is that you? Working out every day in the gym but not seeing any results. You are wondering if you are doing something wrong, is it the nutrition or your workout just is not as effective. In this article, we will talk about Compound Exercises and 4 Reasons why they are better than isolated and how they can transform your boring workouts into a really challenging one.


1. You are using multiple joints and muscle groups

Compound exercises are exercises that use multiple large muscle groups to produce movement at multiple joints. Most exercises are automatically compound exercises because the body doesn’t work in isolation when performing movements. Therefore it makes sense to include as many compound exercises in your workout plus you are training different muscle groups at once which means instead of training only biceps and then upper back in isolated exercises you can perform one exercise in which you use all these muscles.

 A perfect example for training biceps and upper back muscles is a Pull-up:  When doing Pull-ups different upper back muscles, Core (Abs and Lower Back) and the biceps are working while you are using 3 different joints; Shoulder joint, Scapulathoracic joint, and Elbow joint.

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2. Compound exercises increase strength and muscle mass

Compound exercises are more difficult because you are using multiple muscles at once. But that’s a good thing! The harder an exercise is the more you get out of it. In addition to that, you are able to lift heavier loads than in an isolated exercise because a number of larger muscles are contributing to perform the movement. Therefore your muscles will be more challenged resulting in larger muscle mass.

Check out this Killer Legs Workout. All these exercises are compound because even though the focus is on my leg muscles, other larger muscle groups like Core muscles; Abs and lower back, are working together for me to perform the movement.

3. Compound exercises assist with weight loss

As mentioned earlier compound exercises are more challenging which means you have a greater energy expenditure. In simple words, the more you sweat the more you lose fat mass and the more you lose weight. Imagine doing 20 hammer curls with 2 kg. This might sound too easy for you. Then what about 20 burpees or 20 push-ups with no extra weight? I bet you’ll be more exhausted.

4. Compound exercises improve your life’s quality

I know that sounds like a big statement, but hear me out! Our body parts, joints, and muscles are meant to work together. For daily activities, doing the laundry, physical work, playing with your kids you don’t have isolated movements but rather a great amount of a variety of compound movements. With compound exercises, you will improve your body’s functionality and therefore improve your quality of life. With greater functionality performing activities of daily living will become easier. 70-90 % of people suffer from back pain. The main reason is that most people don’t workout or only do isolated exercises (because these are easier). Another reason might be that you need to work on your posture.

Isolated exercises are good for injury rehabilitation and beginners but they don’t have the same potential as compound exercises to improvement your body’s functionality.


I convinced you that compound exercises are better than isolated. But you still have no clue how to actually incorporate them in your workouts? That’s okay, everyone needs help sometimes to achieve their aims. I am here to help you reach your specific fitness goals and body’s needs. Schedule a meeting with me here to discuss your fitness goals and how I can assist you to get in your best shape!