Weight loss – Compound vs. Isolation Exercises!

Consistent and effective exercise is one of the key factors involved in successful weight loss. But when designing a training program and choosing which exercises to perform we often don’t take advantage of what give us the most bang for our buck! To increase the intensity of your training and to maximise calorie output, try to include exercises that utilise as many muscle groups as possible because the more muscles that we have working, the more calories we are burning.

This is where Compound and Isolation exercises come into play as they help us understand which exercises biomechanically are going to be giving us the best results regarding overall strength and maximise calories burnt. Isolation exercises involve basic movements across one joint that often involve just one muscle group. The perfect example of an Isolation exercise is a Barbell Curls which utilise mainly the Bicep muscle. Compound exercises are different in that they involve complex movements across multiple joints which in turn utilises more muscles groups. A perfect example of a compound exercise is a squat which utilise a range of muscle groups around the quadriceps, gluteals, hamstrings and calves along with stabilising muscle groups around the lower back and abdominals.

Comparing Bicep Curls to Squats gives you a clear picture on why Compound Exercises are the better choice. But that doesn’t mean that Isolation Exercises are pointless, they do have their roles in helping develop strength for specific muscles or rehabilitation purposes. But regarding weight loss where our goal is to develop overall strength and burn as many calories as possible, Compound Exercises are the clear winner. More calories are burnt, utilising more muscle groups, in a shorter amount of time!

So the next time you design your training plan and decide which exercises you are going to include, make sure you involve mostly compound movements to get the most out of your workout. Her are some basic compound exercise examples: Squats, Walking Lunges, Push-Ups, Upright Rows, Shoulder Press, Tricep Dips, Planks, Hip Lifts & many more!