What are isolation and compound exercises?

As its name suggests, a compound movement uses a combination of muscle groups and joints. A popular example is the squat, which works the core, hamstrings, calves, glutes and lower back all at the same time. In contrast, an isolation exercise is targeted and works one joint and one specific group of muscles.

What are isolation exercises for legs?

Legs: quads
  1. High bar squats. While squats are technically a compound movement, placing the bar a bit higher on your back and narrowing your stance a little can serve to efficiently isolate the quads.
  2. Leg press.
  3. Front squat.
  4. Bulgarian split squat.
  5. Hack squat.
  6. Leg extension.
  7. Goblet squat.

Are squats an isolation exercise?

2 A great example of a compound exercise is the squat exercise, which engages many muscles in the lower body and core, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, lower back, and core. Isolation exercises work only one muscle group and only one joint at a time.

What are isolation and compound exercises? – Related Questions

What is an example of an isolated exercise?

For the uninitiated, an isolation exercise is by definition a movement that targets a single muscle group and involves the movement of a single joint (think: calf raise, biceps curl, triceps kickback, and dumbbell fly).

What are the big 5 compound exercises?

Which are the big 5? The five basic exercises bench press, deadlift, squats, shoulder press and pull-up are generally known as the big 5 of strength training. Due to the adjustability of the resistance, the lat pull-down is often used instead of the pull-up.

Is a squat compound or isolation?

For example, a squat is a compound exercise that works the quadriceps, glutes, and calves. You can also do compound exercises that combine two exercises into one move to target even more muscles (for example, a lunge with a bicep curl). Compound exercises differ from isolation exercises.

Are squats a compound movement or an isolation movement?

A compound exercise is any movement where you’re using more than one muscle group at a time. Consider a squat: This one simple motion engages your core, quads, hamstrings, glutes, calf muscles and hip flexors. Isolation exercises, on the other hand, work one specific muscle group at a time (such as a bicep curl).

What are isolated squats?

YouTube video

Are dumbbell squats compound or isolation?

It is a compound exercise that affects multiple muscle groups, particularly the core and the lower body. While both dumbbell and barbell squats use free weights as resistance, these two forms of squats target different parts of the body and improve different aspects of fitness.

How many isolation exercises should I do?

It is okay to use 1-2 isolation exercises per day to target your specific muscle, provided you have done a compound primary exercise. For example: Let’s say you really want to build your biceps. You will do 2-3 biceps focused exercises per workout, twice per week.

Should beginners do isolation exercises?

In a nutshell, a beginner lifter has way too much to improve to mess around with isolation exercise. A good way to think about this is to imagine you were painting the outside of your house (your body).

Is bicep curl isolation or compound?

Isolation exercises work one muscle at a time. Some examples might be the Bicep curl, tricep pushdown and leg extension/curl. Compound exercises work multiple muscle groups at the same time. The big three (the squat, bench press and deadlift) all come under this category.

Should you lift heavy on isolation exercises?

By definition, isolation exercises involve much less muscle than compound exercises, and thus you aren’t able to lift as much weight. Since you can’t lift as much weight with isolation exercises as you can with compound exercises, you need to add weight in much smaller increments.

Are isolation exercises worth it?

Here’s Why. An isolation exercise, as the name would suggest, is an exercise that involves just one joint and recruits a limited number of muscles, usually with the particular focus on one body part.

What exercise isolates biceps?

Three bicep isolation moves you need to try
  • Zottman preacher curl. Equipment Dumbbells. Sets 3. Reps 8-12. Rest 60 seconds. How to do it. A.
  • Overhead cable curl. Equipment Cable machine. Sets 3. Reps 12-15. Rest 60 seconds. How to do it. A.
  • Incline barbell curls. Equipment Barbell curls. Sets 4. Reps 8-12. Rest 60 seconds. How to do it.

What muscles need isolation exercises?

In general, curls, raises, flys, and extensions are all isolation exercises. Try the following isolation exercises to target muscles in your arms, core, and legs.


  • Calf raises are performed standing using dumbbells.
  • Hamstring leg curls are usually done with a curl machine to target the calf muscles and hamstrings.