The answer is neither exercise is better than the other. Rather, the more appropriate question should be: Which exercise is more appropriate for you to better achieve your fitness goal?
First, let's clarify the difference between a compound and an isolation exercise. A compound exercise is any exercise in which MULTIPLE JOINTS are involved in the movement of said exercise. For example, a bench press is a compound exercise because the shoulder and elbow joints are involved in the movement. A leg press is also a compound exercise because the hip and knee joints are involved in the movement. Other compound exercises include squats, pull-ups, pushups, overhead presses, bent-leg deadlifts, and lunges. An isolation exercise is any exercise in which ONLY ONE JOINT is involved in the movement of said exercise. For example, a cable flye is an isolation exercise because only the shoulder joint is involved in the movement. A stiff-legged deadlift is an isolation exercise because only the hip joint is involved in the movement. Other isolation exercises include dumbbell curls, barbell overhead extensions, leg extensions, and leg curls.
Here are the benefits of performing compound exercises in your workout:
Here are the benefits of performing isolation exercises in your workout:
Now that you know the benefits of performing either compound or isolation exercises, let's get back to the original question posed before: Which exercise is more appropriate for you to better achieve your fitness goal(s)? Here are some examples of fitness goals and the recommendations:
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Subscribe to get the latest blog content:
I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.